The award of Expo 2020 to Dubai has boosted construction activities in the entire Emirate. The estimated overall value of project activities for developing the Expo site amounts to around USD 4 billion. More than USD 8 billion are being invested in transportation facilities and other infrastructure around the Expo site. Dubai is building its own landmark for this World Expo, similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris or the Atomium in Brussels. Many of the construction projects currently in the planning stage or underway will extend far beyond the exhibition site of 438 ha. The construction sector, in addition to Expo 2020, will strengthen its position as an important pillar of the national economy, with multi-billion projects such as the Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour and the Dubai Deira Island Boulevard.
“Innovation in Precast Summit” a success
This construction boom was reflected in the biggest construction show heretofore held on the Arabian Peninsula: the 38th Big 5 edition, which took place from 26 to 29 November 2017. At this trade show, more than 79,000 trade visitors from 140 countries took advantage of the opportunity for up-to-date information on the latest trends and developments. The continuing expansion of construction activities in the GCC Region attracted more international exhibitors this year, with nearly 2,600 exhibitors from 64 countries represented at the Big 5. This is a clear indicator of Dubai’s recognized role as leading business location, extending far beyond the Middle East. Germany – after China, Turkey, and Italy – was the country most strongly represented at this trade show. At the 2017 Big 5, Germany was represented with 124 exhibitors on a floor space of nearly 2,000 m². The four German states Baden-Wurttemberg, Bavaria, Hesse, and Saxony were once again represented.
The Big 5 construction show was additionally impressive with its high-quality accompanying program. This year the program included the Innovation in Precast Summit, which took place in addition to numerous lectures and workshops. This high-caliber conference brought together visionaries and future-oriented leaders to report on current and upcoming trends on the construction sector. The Precast Summit was moderated by Dr. Ulrich Lotz, Managing Director of FBF, the organizer of the Ulm BetonTage. Numerous exhibitors – for example, BFS, Elematic, Eurobend, Frima, mbk, Ratec, Reckli, Techmatik, Weckenmann, WKB Systems, and Zenith – had been invited to present their companies with table-top stands.
Official participation of Germany in March 2018
At the request of numerous regular exhibitors at Middle East Concrete (earlier integrated into the Big 5), and on the initiative of VDMA-Frankfurt (Construction Equipment and Building Material Machinery Association), the German Federal Ministry for Economy and Energy decided to sponsor a joint stand of German companies at the next Middle East Concrete show, in March 2018; i.e., there will be an official participation of the German government. This development will produce a highly positive effect for the participants, especially financially, since federal funding will reduce exhibitors’ regular cost of the event by about half.
In addition, there will be a spacious business lounge with catering for the German exhibitors and their trade visitors. Participation will also be simpler in terms of organization, since the entire installation of the stand will take place under the responsibility of a German company. By now, more than 40 German exhibitors have registered for Big 5 Heavy.