The premiere of The Big 5 Heavy took place from March 26 to 28, 2018. More than 5,000 national and international trade visitors used the opportunity for gathering information about the latest trends and developments on the trade fair. The continuing expansion of construction activities in the GCC region attracted an increased number of international exhibitors this year. Nearly 330 exhibitors from 34 countries, including 50 exhibitors from Germany alone, were present at The Big 5 Heavy, with the Middle East Concrete being an integral part. This is an indicator for Dubai‘s recognized role as leading business location, reaching far beyond the Middle East.
Not only the Expo 2020 awarded to Dubai strongly stimulated the construction activities in the entire emirate. The estimated overall value of project investments for the development of the Expo site amounts to about 4 billion US dollars. More than 8 billion US dollars will be invested in traffic and infrastructure projects around the Expo site. A lot of the building projects, which are under construction or in the process of planning at present, will extend beyond the exhibition grounds covering 438 hectares also after the end of Expo 2020. Apart from the Expo 2020, the construction industry also strengthens its position as an important pillar of the national economy with projects worth several billions such as The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbor or the Dubai Deira Island Boulevard.
Promoted by official German participation
Upon the request of numerous regular exhibitors of the Middle East Concrete (formerly integral part of The Big 5 trade fairs at the end of November) and on the initiative of VDMA Frankfurt (German Engineering Federation‘s Association for Construction Equipment and Building Materials Machinery), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy promoted a joint stand of German companies on the Middle East Concrete as part of an official German participation. This, moreover, had a positive effect for the participants, in particular in financial terms, since such government funds nearly halved the normal exhibition prices charged by the organizer. This included a spacious business lounge with catering for German exhibitors and their visitors. In addition, the participation was simplified in organizational terms, because the stand construction was completely realized by the German event organizer.
Hence, the majority of exhibitors from German-speaking countries were more or less satisfied. Rupert Plersch (KTI Plersch) and Matthias Holzberger (B.T. innovation/MAXtrucer), for example, positively stated that thanks not least to the participation in The Big 5 Heavy their companies‘ presences already existing for many years would be strengthened even further. Jörg Reymann (Ratec) and Benjamin Zeh (Weckenmann) unanimously emphasized that their persistent commitment either at the Precast Summit as part of The Big 5 (in November 2017) with tabletop presentations and lectures or here by means of own exhibition stands indeed bears fruit.
The BFT International trade magazine presented itself as media partner of the trade fair organizer DMG events at an information booth. Apart from the United Arab Emirates, The Big 5 has established itself in Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morocco and Kenya meanwhile.