The Big 5 ... this year’s event has attracted 1,000 exhibitors to date.

Major global players are set to reconnect in the UAE next month at The Big 5, which will host the only live in-person event for the sector in 2021, thus playing a crucial role in supporting the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) region’s $5.06 trillion future projects market, according to the organiser dmg events.

The Big 5 runs from September 12 to 15 at the Dubai World Trade Centre alongside The Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, Windows, Doors & Facades Event, Gulf Glass, HVAC R Expo, The Big 5 Solar, Middle East Stone, Urban Design & Landscape Expo and FM Expo.

Celebrating its 42nd year, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and South Asia region’s largest and most influential event for the construction industry has so far confirmed more than 1,000 exhibitors from 45 countries and 20 country pavilions, said the organiser.

An online networking and meeting facilitation add-on will help organisations kick-start their businesses wherever their location, it added.

According to a recent report released by Meed Projects, the projects data and intelligence partner for The Big 5, there were $163 billion worth of contracts awarded in 2020 in the MEA region despite the Covid-19 impact.

Josine Heijmans, Vice President at dmg events, foresees that powerful face-to-face connections between industry stakeholders is key for the sector’s continued development.

“With $5.06 trillion worth of projects planned and unawarded across all sectors in the MEA construction market, it is more important than ever to offer a safe environment for the regional and international community to come together where they can boost business activities, rebuild partnerships, and discuss vital lessons learnt all in one place,” noted Heijmans.

The Big 5 will welcome exhibitors across nine specialised events this year, offering visiting professionals the chance to source the latest industry innovations for any stage of the construction cycle.

Heavyweights signed up to exhibit include Caparol, Soudal, Saudi Ceramics, Mahy Khoory, Zamil Air Conditioning, Climatech, Gulf Extrusion and Emirates Steel.

Gulf Extrusion CEO Christian Witsch said: “For many years, we have been representing our products and innovations at The Big 5, which is a very important and great event for our industry. After one year of interruption due to the pandemic, we are very excited about the possibility to meet and engage with our important customers and the interested community about our products at The Big 5 once again.”

The event also presents Start Up City, where the most innovative, disruptive, and agile players in the market will showcase technologies transforming the construction industry, and the new Digital Construction World, providing a central hub on the show floor for construction technology.

High-level summits at The Big 5 this year include the highly anticipated Global Construction Leaders’ Summit, the Future of Facades Summit, and the FutureTech Construction Summit, all designed to shed light on crucial developments in the construction sector, covering all aspects of the industry from facades to building technology, whilst exploring long-term opportunities on the horizon.

The Big 5 will also host a series comprising 70 CPD (Continuing Professional Development)-certified Industry Talks encompassing all disciplines in the construction industry such as architecture and design, project management, technology, and sustainability, to support learning, inspiration and collaboration within the construction community, said the organiser.

Priscilla Joseph, Sustainability Project Engineer at KEO International Consultants, said: “The Big 5 offers the opportunity to learn, debate, and source products from industry experts. With global exhibitions back in Dubai, and all safety protocols being followed, I am excited to be part of the features and events at the event, and for the global construction community to reconnect once again.”

Recognising excellence in the region’s construction industry, The Big 5 Women in Construction Awards return to highlight the positive socio-economic impact a gender-balanced workforce has on transforming the construction industry, while the new The Big 5 Impact Awards have been created to recognise sustainable development, technological and digital achievements in the construction sector, dmg events added.

Cynthia Corby, a judge at the Women in Construction Awards and Partner, Regional Audit & Assurance, Transformation Leader, Regional Consulting Board member and Middle East Construction Leader, Deloitte, commented: “Awards not only acknowledge success by giving public recognition, which brings visibility, but they acknowledge role models for others to look up to.”