Light at the end of the construction tunnel:

Published September 28th, 2009 - 09:50 GMT

With exhibitor space increased, and pre-registrations already at record levels, dmg, the event organisers of The Big 5 Exhibition, are seeing very positive signs for an upturn in the construction industry in the UAE. 

The Big 5, the leading international building and construction show, is set to take place from 23-26 November 2009 at Dubai World Trade Centre.  Registration is already looking positive, with visitors from over 70 countries signed up to attend.  The show will be 15 percent bigger than 2008 in terms of exhibition space, and has grown to include the new halls being constructed at the venue.  The show is almost fully sold out, with 92 percent of the 43,000 m2 floor space booked.  Exhibitors include Emirates Steel Industries, RAK Ceramics and Exeed Industries from the UAE, French Euroslot, Climatech and Dectron from Canada, Turkish based Tekmar marble, Tongby Control Technology from China, Germany’s Putzmeister Mörtelmaschinen and the Lapesa Grupo from Zaragoza, Spain.

Paula Al Chami, show Director for The Big 5, said, “The Big 5 exhibition is somewhat of a barometer for the construction industry and we are extremely positive that business is starting to stabilise.  We seem to be bucking the trend of some other trade shows, which has been reflected in the increased floor space, and the right level of industry people signing up.” 

Clearly, this has been a year of a slow down in growth in construction, but it seems that The Big 5 is coming at just the right time, as the industry is starting to look forwards again and will be able to put a considerable amount of speculation to rest.”

dmg research has shown that, despite the economic downturn, the Middle East construction industry will keep growing at an annual rate of 3.5 percent in the next five years, ranking third behind Asia and significantly ahead of Europe or Northern America.  The region is a perfect gateway for the Indian sub-continent and Asia and is, therefore, in a strong position to provide access to the two regions with the highest expected construction growth in the next two years.

Contrary to the widespread belief that all construction has stopped, there are still significant projects in the pipeline, which have a total value across the Middle East region of US$3.1 trillion.  The UAE leads the project market, accounting for 42 percent of the total project value, while the value of projects in Bahrain has more than doubled to almost US$68 billion and those in Qatar have increased by 71 percent in the last year. 

Despite a tough year, research carried out by independent consultants BNC, shows that almost 70 percent of the total registered projects in the GCC are still currently under construction with a further 6 percent out to tender and 10 percent already in the concept and design stages.  In the UAE, 7,231 projects – commercial, residential, hospitality, medical and educational – are currently still under construction and over 1,000 projects are in the pipeline for this year alone.

As the largest event of its kind in the Middle East, The Big 5 provides an unrivalled platform for architects, engineers, contractors and developers from the public and private sectors to network, source and specify the latest building and construction products and services.  Featuring National Pavilions from all major exporting countries of the world, The Big 5 provides the most comprehensive product offering for the building and construction industry. 

The Big 5 will also be bringing together an impressive line-up of added value elements including a Key Buyers Programme, Product Seminars, a Conference Programme and the acclaimed Gaia Awards.

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