The Big 5 attracted major exhibitors from the region as well as worldwide.

The 43rd edition of The Big 5, one of the largest construction events in the region, drew some of the biggest players in the building and construction sector, both regional and global, when it opened in Dubai last month. 

The event kicked off on December 5, starting a four-day run at the Dubai World Trade Centre with six specialised events addressing the entire sector eco-system –Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, HVAC R Expo, Middle East Stone, Urban Design & Landscape Expo, and FM Expo, said the organiser dmg events.

Also held alongside The Big 5 was the inaugural Everything Architecture, the only exclusive event for the architecture and design community in the Middle East.

The top industry event was inaugurated by Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council.

Speaking on the occasion, Sheikh Ahmed said: “Major international events held in Dubai such as The Big 5 play a vital part in boosting growth opportunities in their respective industries locally, regionally and globally.”

He highlighted the role of The Big 5 exhibition in bringing together various stakeholders to address the challenges facing the construction industry and explore ways to make the world’s cities environment friendly.

“The event supports the UAE’s target of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and the growth of the circular economy in the region and beyond,” he added.

More than 2,000 exhibitors from 60 countries took part in the event, which also hosted 20 national pavilions, including newcomers Oman, Pakistan, and Singapore, bringing together the key stakeholders from across the full construction value chain to network, learn and do business, said the organiser.

Among the countries with a major presence at the show were Italy, which accounted for more than 250 exhibitors (see Face-to-Face, Page 48); and Greece with 60 companies exhibiting.

Boasting the strongest government support to date, including the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Dubai Municipality, and Dubai’s General Directorate of Civil Defence, The Big 5 2022 featured focused exhibits, high-level summits, industry talks, visitor experiences, and incubator pitching to address key sector challenges, spur technology adoption, and promote sustainability.

The four-day programme included the Global Construction Leaders’ Summit, where local, regional, and global industry decision-makers looked for a collaborative pathway to industry transition.

The event also saw leading construction firms win The Big 5 Construction Impact Awards in 17 categories. The Award for Diversity & Inclusion went to the multi-national architecture design company SOM while the ‘Best Use of Technology of the Year’ honour went to DuPod.

Cameroon’s Millennium Group was a double-winner taking the award for ‘Carbon Net Zero Initiative of the Year’ for its Mindca affordable green homes project, while its CEO, Ghislaine Tessa Ketcha – who also founded the ‘Women In Construction Africa’ group – was named ‘Sustainability Leader of the Year.’

KEO International’s Masdar Central Park project was named ‘Community of the Future’, while Abu Dhabi’s Aldar Properties took two accolades for ‘Digital Transformation of the Year’ and the ‘Digitalization Project of the Year’.

The China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) Middle East scooped a slew of awards, including ‘Digital Twin Project of the Year’ for its Downtown Views II development, and ‘Innovative Construction Organisation of the Year’. Its technology head Mansour Faried was named ‘Technology Leader of the Year’.

Saudi Arabia’s Tamimi Global scooped the ‘Off-Site Project of the Year’ award for its Noem Community Expansion 2. Indian architect Ankur Gautam of Delhi’s Gautam & Gautam Associates was named ‘Sustainability Champion of the Year’ while UAE’s Bindasmal Contracting Establishment was honoured with ‘Sustainable Construction Organisation of the Year.’

The Dubai Metro Route 2020 project, by the Acciona & Gulermak joint venture, was chosen as ‘Sustainable Construction Project of the Year’ while the sustainable revitalisation of traditional rainwater harvesting at India’s Bansilal Pet Step Well – a joint venture between Kshetra Consultants and The Rainwater Project – was declared ‘Sustainable Initiative of the Year’.  The ‘Workforce of the Future Initiative’ accolade was taken home by US’s HK Consulting for its integration of BIM into the national academic curriculum.

The four-day event saw a busy schedule of free-to-attend CPD certified Industry Talks covering topics across technology, facilities management, architecture and design, project management, and sustainable geotechnical engineering – a programme delivered by the event’s supporting association Deep Foundations Institute.

For technology-afficionados, the expo had Digital Construction World, a dedicated sector at The Big 5, to find the latest solutions in contech, proptech and infratech, and explore Dubai Municipality’s pavilion housing 3D printing companies focused on each stage of the construction cycle.