The Big 5 2017 has been a huge success, with participants from literally every corner of the globe, outstanding speakers, high-level summits, networking and business deals worth millions of dollars. Here’s a small selection of the 10 most memorable moments from the 38th edition of the event!
1. A Grand Opening with H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum
Let’s start from the very beginning: Middle East’s largest construction event was officially inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum on November 26. The President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group opened the four-days packed event with conferences, seminars, networking sessions, live features and business matchmaking across an exhibition floor that covered the entire Dubai World Trade Centre area.
Few hours after the opening, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Vice President of Real Estate, Ahmed Al Khatib, chose the stage of The Big 5’s Excellence in Construction Summit to announce the award of the contract to build the steel structure for the Al Wasl Plaza, the centerpiece of the mega event. The winner of the bid, the Abu Dhabi-based Cimolai Rimond Middle East, will build a 67 meter high domed trellis designed by US architects Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, reflecting “Dubai’s role in connecting east with west and as a place for bringing people together for Expo 2020,” said Mr. Al Khatib. “We are very proud of Al Wasl Plaza because it symbolizes what we want to achieve at the Expo.”
On November 26, the Big 5’s high level conference also hosted the Chairman and Co-founder of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Bibop G. Gresta, who presented to a fascinated public the transportation system that will revolutionize the way we travel. “Hyperloop is now in the implementation and commercialization phase,” Gresta announced at The Excellence in Construction Summit. “There are several countries we signed a deal with, and one of them is Abu Dhabi. Here, we just finished the biggest feasibility study that humanity has ever done in a Hyperloop system and we are ready to implement it.” Are you ready to travel from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain in 15 minutes?
Day One also saw the Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Infrastructure Development, H.E. Eng. Hassan Jumaa Al-Mansoori, inaugurating the first edition of "The Big 5 Innovation Precast Summit", a two-day-long event supported by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, the Sheikh Zayed Housing Program and the Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime (FTA). Talking to hundreds of delegates, Al-Mansoori praised The Big 5 exhibition, as it “serves as a unique chance for those interested in the construction sector to enhance their access to the world's best practices in the field by meeting leaders, decision-makers and leading countries."
USD 1.5 billion is the total estimated HVAC spend on construction projects in Dubai. With this value expected to further grow in the coming years, The Big 5 2017 hosted over 230 companies in a dedicated HVACR Hall showcasing innovative, energy saving and sustainable solutions to cool the hot Middle Eastern built environment. Moreover, on November 28, the HVACR Day at The Big 5 celebrated the increasing relevance of efficient HVAC Systems, with educational talks on latest trends and best practices in heating, ventilation and cooling.
Advocating a green revolution in the construction sector, for the 10th consecutive year The Big 5 awarded the most sustainable product in the MENA Region. The winner of the 2017 Gaia Award, Hidrostank, was selected by a panel of experts among over a hundred competing products. Receiving the award on November 28, Hidrostank’s Commercial Director, Juan Gazpio Irujo, said: “20 years ago we bet on a much more sustainable world. Our challenge was to change the mindset of traditional contractors with a sustainable alternative to concrete manholes, so we are really proud of being recognized today by such an important jury.”
Companies from across the globe have met new potential customers and distributors in a four-day-event marked by business deals and partnership agreements. “We are impressed by the number of contacts we have collected and by the great interest they all have shown in our products,” said exhibitor Angelo Aloia from Advanced Global Solution AGS SPA. Split across 5 dedicated product sectors, exhibitors were able to meet with the right visitors: “Dividing [The Big 5] by product sectors gives to the show a great attractivity bringing more interesting visitors directly to our booth. This was the smartest move to make and gives [us] the will to come back!” commented Thomas Mendler from ISPO France.
6,184 attendees participated to the over 70 complimentary and CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified Big 5 Talks in 2017. Clustered around six major themes (MEP, Sustainability, Architecture, Technology, Business and Project Management), the educational sessions were presented by renowned experts who shared best practices and latest developments addressing the industry’s most relevant topics. “I wait for The Big 5 every year. You can learn a lot [at The Big 5] and you will get all the data that you need in a couple of days,” said Bassel Omara, Senior Design Architect & BIM Manager Dorsch Holding GmbH - DC Abu Dhabi after an educational session.
In the UAE, the rooftop solar output has grown from 6MW in 2016 to 70MW at the end of 2017; some of the world’s largest solar parks are also under development in the MENA region, and BIPV is showing an immense potential in the Gulf. With these premises, the launch edition of The Big 5’s co-located Big 5 Solar event, under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy, could not but be a great success in terms of both participants and business opportunities. Deals worth over USD 70 million have been signed onsite by one single exhibitor, underpinning a bright future for both the solar industry and The Big 5 Solar exhibition in the coming years.
With over 2,600 companies from 64 countries, The Big 5 hit a new record in terms of international participation in 2017. Among the top exhibiting countries, the strong presence of Italy, with almost 350 brands, Turkey with more than 240 companies and the over 140 German companies definitely deserve a mention. Visiting the show, the project manager of iGreen Italian Landscaping, Touseef Ahmed, confirmed: “I’ve met many potential suppliers not only from the region but internationally! I am very impressed with the quality of exhibitors and I will be back again.” Will you be there, at The Big 5 2018?
The Big 5 returns from 26 to 29 November 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The 39th edition of the leading construction event in the MENA region will host thousands of exhibitors from around the world, high level conferences and free to attend certified educational sessions. The show will be co-located with the second edition of The Big 5 Solar, and the new HVAC-R Expo and Urban Design & Landscaping Expo.