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Going live: prepping for The Big 5, MEC & PMV Live

by John Bambridge on Nov 17, 2015

“We are growing the show from 52,000 m2 to 56,000m2 thanks to this expansion,” Heijmans says, adding: “The Big 5 Focus is almost a show within a show with even more international exhibitors, free CPD certified educational sessions on project management and construction technology, as well as prize giveaways. Focus will be a must-visit section at the show.”

There is also The Big 5 Platinum Club — an invite-only fellowship, where key buyers from the region gather to make decisions for all the largest projects. Heijmans teases: “The club is growing from a current 650 members and we set up meetings in advance with key companies they would like to meet.”

With many GCC countries putting emphasis on green and regulations, The Big 5 is also, for the 8th year running, hosting the GAIA awards — prestigious honours for products and services in the green buildings sector. “But for the first time, the winner will receive a prize worth $50,000 in marketing,” says Heijmans. Then on the 2nd show day in the Focus Hall, The Big 5 will announce the winners in nine categories.

Asked it the construction economy appears to be on solid ground, Heijmans concludes: “I feel the outlook is quite positive and the GCC is investing heavily on social infrastructure and there is healthy population growth.”


According to Ventures Onsite, the total value of construction contracts awarded across the GCC is expected to decrease only slightly from $196bn in 2014 to $194bn in 2015. The GCC contractor awards in building and infrastructure sectors are estimated to also decrease slightly from $144bn in 2014 to $141 bn in 2015.

GCC governments are estimated to spend a total of $90bn on building schools and universities and 2015 is also likely to be the year for increased affordable housing construction.

However, construction in the GCC will increase in value despite a slight dip in the overall contract awards this year, according to the man behind the region’s biggest construction event.