The Big 5

The Big 5 ... seven dedicated events under one roof.

The Big 5 ... seven dedicated events under one roof.

Seven-in-one showcase

From November 25 to 28, the Dubai World Trade Centre will be transformed into a global hub for the construction industry as The Big 5 show opens to an audience of 68,000 professional visitors.

November 2019

The Big 5, which this year encompasses seven events under one roof, will bring a choice of more than 20,000 innovative products to the market when it opens its doors this month in Dubai, while leading a charge towards greater professional development through its educational programmes.

The mega event’s venue – the Dubai World Trade Centre – will be transformed into a global hub for the construction industry from November 25 to 28.

Celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, The Big 5 will run alongside The Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Stone, Middle East Concrete, HVAC R Expo, the Urban Design & Landscape Expo, and The Big 5 Solar.

The Big 5’s Start-Up City was launched last year.

The Big 5’s Start-Up City was launched last year.

The co-located events will bring under one roof 360-degree solutions for the entire construction industry. They will combine the benefits of dedicated exhibitions with a comprehensive platform able to attract over 68,000 visitors from more than 130 countries for four days of face-to-face business meetings.

The region’s largest construction event will also feature more than 220 complimentary high-level summits, practical seminars, and CPD (Continuing Professional Development)-certified workshops to foster collaboration, support best practices, and offer effective solutions to today’s industry challenges.

One of the innovative highlights of this year’s Big 5 event is the introduction the brand new Offsite & Modular Construction sector, which will showcase state-of-the-art offsite and modular construction solutions for residential, educational, healthcare as well as commercial applications to cater to today’s market demands for rapid and efficient construction delivery.

Leading brands such as BK Gulf, MACS, and Katerra will be presenting their modular solutions for the first time. A dedicated educational agenda, the Offsite & Modular Talks, will simultaneously shed light on advances in offsite and modular construction, analysing new challenges and opportunities in the region.

“The Big 5 has always been at the forefront of showcasing new construction ideas, and it’s great that this year there is a dedicated space for offsite construction,” says Nejeeb Khan, Katerra’s head of design and business strategy. “The construction industry globally needs transformational change to keep up with the growing demand for timely delivered, cost-controlled, and quality infrastructure.”

Offsite construction responds to this demand as it optimises material and resource use, creating minimum waste and disruption onsite, while increasing the construction’s sustainability.

The Big 5 features more than 220 complimentary high-level summits, practical seminars, and CPD (Continuing Professional Development)-certified workshops.

The Big 5 features more than 220 complimentary high-level summits, practical seminars, and CPD (Continuing Professional Development)-certified workshops.

According to Khan, the acceptance of offsite construction is growing within the region, and more and more new technologies will be deployed going forward.

Offsite manufacturing allows for rooms, bathrooms, and other construction elements to be fully manufactured and finished at the factory and assembled onsite for maximum efficiency. Modular and offsite construction factories act as an extension to job sites, delivering better productivity, quality, and precision.

Meanwhile, another highlight of The Big 5 – which was introduced last year – will see the most promising start-ups in the construction sector from around the globe taking part and competing to be recognised as the most innovative start-up by a panel of judges and win the prize worth $25,000.

The Big 5 will host local and international start-ups at its dedicated Start-up City, in partnership with Consolidated Contractors International Company (CCC), Catalyst, and Wamda. Here, participating companies will present the most disruptive technologies that will shape the future of the construction industry.      

A networking event with investors, alongside country pavilions participating in the programme are among the new features to be launched at the Start-up City in 2019.

Josine Heijmans, portfolio director at dmg events, the organiser of The Big 5, says: “We are extremely proud to bring back The Big 5’s Start-up City this year, as an effective platform promoting innovative ideas and products that will help increase sustainability, efficiency, and productivity in the construction sector.”

The entrepreneurship ecosystem is gaining momentum year after year. Governments across the region are realising the significance of creating support structures to nurture rising ideas locally and attract promising foreign start-ups. As a consequence, international and regional incubators, accelerators and start-up support entities have recently been launched not only in the UAE but also in most GCC countries.

“Across the region, investors are injecting more money with success stories of exits and acquisitions offering further trust in the great potentials at stake,” says Aref Boualwan, the senior manager Digital Transformation & Strategy at CCC. “We hope to witness soon a construction technology start-up highlighted as one of the unicorns founded in the Middle East.”

“We strongly believe that it is a must for a prominent event like The Big 5 to pave the way for Construction Technology Startups to showcase their solutions and gain the exposure to a huge audience of professionals from different backgrounds,” he adds.

The Big 5 Heavy/ Middle East Concrete

Meanwhile, The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete in November will feature two summits, two conferences and technical seminars comprising a total 55 free-to-attend sessions. With a major focus on technology, these educational sessions are set to provide an insight on how to implement the latest digital solutions right at the beginning of the build cycle.

Event director for The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete, Richard Pavitt comments: “We are delighted to announce this year’s increased line-up of educational features that are free and unique to The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete. The spread of learning opportunities is designed so that visiting professionals can leave equipped with realistic pathways for bringing new technological advances into their build projects.

“With more than $2.5 trillion worth of planned projects yet to be awarded in the Middle East, there is huge opportunity to elevate the region’s construction industry by introducing new processes and solutions right at the beginning of build.”

The two summits this year include the returning ‘RTA Innovation in BIM Summit’, shedding light on the government-led roadmap of BIM adoption in the UAE, and the ‘Geotechnical and Engineering Summit’, covering the latest in ground surveying techniques and solutions.

The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete will see the return of the American Concrete Institute’s Conference series, exploring the latest standards in concrete efficiency and host the all-new Geospatial Leaders Conference, where speakers comprising geospatial intelligence leaders and technology providers from across the region will present topics such as drones/UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles), smart cities, LiDAR technology, and emerging technologies.

The two events also feature a wealth of technical seminars hosted by exhibitors that showcase the use of industry-leading innovations and techniques. Leading brands such as Putzmeister, Cifa, Kryton, Trimble, Soilmec, Command Alkon, and NFT Cranes, will showcase products relating to the very first stages of the build cycle.

The Big 5 Heavy and Middle East Concrete offer products from plant, lifting, and quarrying machinery, to raw materials extraction equipment, precast production solutions and more. In addition, solutions relating to 3D printing, drones and surveillance, site mapping, robotics, thermal imaging, virtual reality trainings and more feature within the all new ‘Construction Technology’ product sector.


Middle East Stone

Middle East Stone, the Middle East’s premier event for natural stone, marble, granite, design and technology which is now in its fifth edition, will run alongside The Big 5 for the first time ever this year.

Middle East Stone will provide a full range of products and solutions from the stone, marble and granite world for interior designers, interior and landscape architects, façade consultants, fit-out contractors, real estate developers, installers and distributors among others.

This year, several world-leading brands such as Italian Red Granite and the Greek Akrolithos will be making their debut at Middle East Stone. Returning exhibitors from around the globe include the Norwegian Lundhs, the UAE-based Classic Marble and Quartzform, the Portuguese Telmo, and the Turkish Adalya, Oguz Mermer, Onur Mermer, and Naturelmar, among many others.

From Brazil, Abirochas, the country’s national association of granite and marble producers, will gather some of South America’s leading companies, while Greece has announced its largest country pavilion since the show was launched in 2015.

Italy will also have a massive presence at the event, with over 25 top brands. According to Flavio Marabelli, honoary president, Institutional Relations of Confindustria Marmomacchine, the association coordinating the Italian pavilion at Middle East Stone, the event will host “a Stone Italia area devoted to the finest stone products and advanced Made in Italy stone technology that will feature exclusive, high-impact decor”.

CPD-certified stone design seminars will run alongside the exhibition unveiling the latest industry trends and best practices throughout the four days of the show.  The Natural Stone Institute (NSI) will be taking part in the education agenda with stone masters Charles Muehlbauer, NSI technical director, Mohamed Kader, business development executive at Egymar International, and Daniel Wood, stone material consultant. These will be delivering masterclasses on a variety of industry topics, spanning from best practices and techniques in stone exterior wall cladding, to understanding ASTM standards and stone testing for projects, and international standards for importing and exporting natural stone. 



The second Urban Design & Landscape Expo (UDLE) will gather over 90 exhibiting companies from around the globe showcasing the latest solutions in hard landscaping, irrigation and drainage, machinery and equipment, sports and playgrounds, materials and components, specialist sectors, and design, planning and consulting. A four-day educational programme, including the Urban Design & Landscape Summit and the brand new Urban Design Talks, will complement the exhibition.

According to a report released by the Middle East’s premier trade event for green urban spaces, over the next decade, investment for landscaping and associated facilities in the GCC will near $20 billion with under half of this required in Saudi Arabia and more than $6 billion destined for the UAE market.

“With long-term government strategies like the Saudi 2030 Vision driving investment in new projects, massive opportunities are coming up for landscape industry players,” Heijmans says. “This clearly reflects in the outstanding success of a show like the Urban Design & Landscape Expo, where the growing regional demand can meet both the local and international offer.”

Confirmed exhibitors include Al Baddad, Elysee Irrigation, Verseidag, Ithara Group, Huck, Serge Ferrari, Fujairah Concrete Products, Bagattini, Berliner and Therrawood.

After last year’s success, the must-attend event for landscape and urban design professionals will further increase its educational offer. Beyond running the second edition of the Urban Design & Landscape Summit, UDLE will introduce three days of CPD-certified workshops alongside the exhibition this year.

The line-up of speakers includes high-profile industry leaders like Dhay Aldawyan, head of the Center for Development of Urban Design and Planning of Saudi Cities at the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs of Saudi Arabia, Dr Hanan Aljabri, the director of strategic planning at the Muscat Municipality, and George Arvanitis, director of master planning and urban design at Parsons Corporation, among many others.

The show is supported by Lumo (Lighting Partner), Belhasa Projects (Landscape Solutions Partner), Raknor (Pavers Partner), Dynamo Playgrounds (Playgrounds Partner), Ducon Outdoor Living (Outdoor Living Solutions Partner), and Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority – Sewa (Supporting Partner).  

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