The Big 5

Last year’s edition attracted 78,579 participants from 142 countries.

Last year’s edition attracted 78,579 participants from 142 countries.

Big on education

The Big 5 2017 is set to open its doors this month in Dubai, offering professionals a chance to learn from more than 90 hours of free, CDP sessions and see thousands of the latest construction solutions and innovative products.

November 2017

The largest construction industry event in the Middle East, The Big 5 is back this year with a new hall dedicated to HVAC-R (heating, ventilation, air-conditioning and refrigeration) and a strong focus on CPD (Continuing Professional Development)-certified educational sessions.

The fair, being held this month (November 26 to 29) at the Dubai World Trade Centre, has once again drawn more exhibitors to this edition, reflecting a definitive growth in the UAE construction market.

“Today, the exhibition is a point of reference for the entire Mena (Middle East and North Africa) construction industry,” says Josine Heijmans, portfolio event director at dmg events, the organiser. “Not only does it bring thousands of innovative products from around the world but the event has continually invested in its educational offer and attracts the brightest minds from the region and beyond. The Big 5 has now become a renowned hub for knowledge-sharing and professional growth in the Middle East.”

Exhibitors at the event will be spread across five dedicated products sectors: MEP (mechanical, electrical and plumbing) Services; Building Interiors and Finishes; Building Envelope and Special Construction; Construction Tools and Building Materials; and Construction Technology and Innovation.

The all-new HVAC-R dedicated hall is in response to the increasing demand for smart, innovative and sustainable cooling solutions in the UAE and GCC region.

“The UAE HVAC market and GCC in general are evolving in terms of new regulations and quest for energy-efficient products. The Big 5 is the region’s biggest and only show in Dubai which caters to HVAC,” says Nabil Abouseido, marketing and business development director of SKM Air Conditioning.

SKM will be exhibiting alongside other brands such as Zamil Industrial, Kingspan Insulation and Fawaz Refrigeration and Air Conditioning.

The Big 5 ... will feature a dedicated HVAC-R hall this year.

The Big 5 ... will feature a dedicated HVAC-R hall this year.

•  MEP Services: Key exhibitors such as Mitsubishi, Naffco, Ariston Thermo, Calpeda and Raktherm will be showcasing across the broad MEP services sector.

“The demand is immense for high-tech, high-performance piping solutions to support large-scale MEP projects, and it is our commitment to sustain and support the global piping industry,” says Mohammed Habib, sales and marketing manager at Raktherm.

•  Building Interiors & Finishes: Danube will showcase state-of-the-art and organic products such as water heaters, mixers and tiles in this sector. The brand believes that “regulation and sustainability are being taken extremely seriously in the region”. Along with a 10 per cent growth expected for the Dubai sanitary ware market from 2018-2019, the government’s green building regulation is calling for more efficient public and private water flow, says Danube.

 Other exhibitors in this category include Saudi Ceramics, WaterJet and Delabie.

•  Building Envelopes & Special Construction: Due to the level of complexity and the different products and resources required, building envelope solutions continue to generate demand. A range of products will be displayed from brands such as Emirates Glass, Therrawood, and Ghandi Automation, and O Concept, which have taken on prestigious projects in the Gulf region.

•  Construction Tools & Building Materials: This sector includes building materials such as iron and steel, as well as tools ranging from drill bits to concrete cutting systems. The sector will host brands such as Emirates Steel, McElroy, Rothenberger Middle East and Axson.

•  Construct Technology & Innovation: The demand for smart city solutions has been increasing in the UAE, with Dubai’s government alone proposing more than 500 initiatives and services geared towards 2021 Smart City ambitions. Robosoft solutions, which will be exhibiting products of Smart Tech Systems, endorses The Big 5 as “a great connecting, networking and lead generation platform”.


Educational offer

At the event’s 38th edition, the educational offer will be broader than ever before to help the local construction community stay on top of innovation and international standards. There will be more than 90 hours of free-to-attend CPD-certified educational sessions.

Over 6,000 construction industry professionals gained CPD points by participating in The Big 5 workshops in 2016.

•  MEP Talks: This section will host renowned industry experts such as Darrel Strobel, managing director, MEP engineering, at KEO International Consultants; Balachandran Senthilraj, vice-president, engineering and projects at Southern General Contracting & Real Estate; and George Berbari, CEO of DC PRO Engineering. The sessions will explore the industry’s hottest topics, from design issues that impact the MEP performance and maintenance to advanced technologies, as well as trends and forecasts for the 2018 MEP market in the UAE. On November 28, the MEP Talks will host a day dedicated to HVAC-R, providing an overview of the world’s most efficient HVAC systems, and case studies on Net Zero and Near Net Zero Energy Buildings.  

•  Architecture Talks: These will be held in a dedicated theatre supported by RIBA at The Big 5. Day One will kick-off with Abdulmajid Karanouh, director of innovation design and head of sustainability and facades at Ramboll, providing insights on how to improve architecture, performance, and cost-effectiveness of buildings through value-driven design. The talks will feature feature the principal at Dabbagh Architects and president of RIBA Gulf, Sumaya Dabbagh, as well as founding partner and principal architect at X Architects Farid Esmaeli. The sessions will take attendees on a journey addressing architecture inspiration, design skills, business advice, industry insights and more, and they will be able to collect RIBA points at the end.

•  Sustainability Talks: With new green building rating systems and regulations coming into play in the region, the 12 Sustainability Talks will feature renowned experts including US-based design director of Specialty Structures Maqsood Ahmed; William Whistler, managing director of Green Building Solutions International; and Michel Francis, chief architect at DEC Consultants. From Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification to future transport trends and city planning, the sessions will provide attendees with the latest insights into this prominent topic.

•  Business Talks: This section will provide useful tools and insightful advice to navigate today’s challenging market. On the last day, November 29, the education agenda will be dedicated to the VAT system. Jayan Balakrishnan, managing director of Apt Management Consultancy, will provide an introduction to VAT in the GCC, while Rakesh Pardasani, audit accounts advisory and partner at RSM Dahman, will discuss VAT Considerations for the Build Industry, providing an opportunity for industry professionals to check how prepared they are to face the upcoming “VAT revolution”.

•  Technology Talks: Eight renowned experts will provide insights on the latest and most innovative technologies that are revolutionising the construction sector. Digital Transformation of the Built Environment, BIM (building information modelling) Coding, Level 3 and Virtual Reality, the Impact of the Yearly Software Upgrade Rate on the BIM Implementation, the Amalgamation of BIM and Machine Learning in the AEC Industry, IoT and Smart Cities are just some of the topics addressed this year. Hrvoje Cindrić, associate Middle East urbanism leader at Arup, will present a session dedicated to rethinking cities in arid environment, which will discuss the role of Gulf cities in providing a sustainable template for the future arid city.

•  Project Management Talks: Here, experts will share cutting-edge insights into project management, exploring financial planning, risk management, and quality management for construction industry professionals, among others. The speakers will be from Hill International, Arab Consulting Engineers, PM House Consulting, Alrajhi Ekhwan Group, Insite, Trojan General Contracting, Echo Architecture, UAE University and Al Ain Distribution Company (AADC).

The Big 5 2017 will also feature two high-level conferences: Excellence in Construction Summit which is also CPD certified, and The Big 5 Innovation in Precast Summit.

In addition, The Big 5 Solar Talks, at the co-located Big 5 Solar event, will offer insights into the latest trends, innovative solutions, finance models, and real case studies from the booming solar market. The Big 5 Solar, which runs under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy, is set to become the premier platform for solar industry professionals to network and do business in the Middle East.

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