60 nations represented at Big 5 in Dubai

More than 2,700 exhibitors from 60 different nations are taking part in this year’s Big 5 – currently underway at Dubai’s World Trade Centre.

The event – which runs until Thursday – was opened yesterday by HH Sheikh Maktoum Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum who toured the venue and received a commemorative plaque from the Saudi Arabian delegation.

Saudi has increased its involvement in the event from 27 exhibitors in 2013 to a full pavilion this year.

Breakthroughs in technology for the design and build community as well as sustainability were at the forefront of many stands.

BIM suppliers Tekla were among the companies exhibiting.

“Open BIM is driving Middle East construction innovation, with architects, engineers, and project managers creating intelligent, and information-rich models to deliver projects on time and on budget,” said Paul Wallett, Area Business Director, Tekla Middle East.

Tekla showcased its BIMsight Note app which allows instant communication on-site and on the move.

“Returning to The Big 5 demonstrates our goal of working closely with our Middle East customers, and providing smart, localized solutions to the region’s projects in infrastructure, financial hubs, cultural landmarks, and stadiums,” added Wallett.

Saint-Gobain Gyproc also had products on show which comply with green building regulations in the region.

Technical manager Jason Hird said: “This event enables us to reach companies from across the entire industry.”

Andy White, The Big 5’s group event director, said: “International companies see the Middle East – particularly the GCC – as a serious export market.

“We’re very proud to see an increasing number of exhibitors from countries where construction is slow. In Europe particularly – Italy, Spain, Greece – there’s very little construction.

“The companies there that are making construction products are looking at the Middle East and they’re exporting. They’re getting funded to do this, and they need to do this to survive,”

Of the exhibitors, approximately 65% hail from outside the GCC. Also a quarter of those showcasing products and services at The Big 5 2014 have never done so before.