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Big 5: All the biggest news from the 2016 show

More than 13,000 construction professionals attend opening day

The Big 5 2016, which took place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 21-24 November, attracted more than 13,000 visitors on its opening day.
The Big 5 2016, which took place at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC) from 21-24 November, attracted more than 13,000 visitors on its opening day.

More than 13,000 visitors attended The Big 5 2016 on its opening day, according to the exhibition’s organiser, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa.

On the second day of the event, more than 500 industry leaders gathered for the Excellence in Construction Summit, which was organised in conjunction with Dubai Economic Council (DEC).

Commenting on the UAE’s contemporary construction landscape, HE Hani Rashid Al Hamli, secretary general of the DEC and keynote speaker at the summit, said: “Dubai is currently witnessing a new momentum of growth, thanks to the critical initiatives launched by Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE, and Ruler of Dubai, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

“Several crucial plans are being developed to make that vision a reality; construction will be a key element of this strategy. Dubai Plan 2021, Expo 2020, and the massive number of projects launched by the government, will definitely strengthen the contribution of the construction sector to Dubai’s economic growth,” HE Al Hamli added.

The Big 5 2016 featured more than 3,100 exhibitors from across the GCC and beyond.

BSI launches BIM Kitemark for MEA

BSI Middle East & Africa used The Big 5 2016 to conduct the regional launch of its BIM Kitemark Scheme. The initiative is designed to provide main contractors with evidence to demonstrate the successful completion and final delivery of projects that employed building information modelling (BIM). The UK-headquartered business standards organisation also used the exhibition to outline the growing importance of BIM technologies within the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. Fiona Korte, BSI Middle East & Africa’s general manager for product certification, said: “As BIM requires the on-going development of processes and employee skills, companies that are early adopters of this methodology are likely to gain a head-start on their competitors.”

Brazil exports $16m of materials to GCC

Brazil exported $16m worth of building materials to GCC countries during the first nine months of 2016, according to Michel Abdo Alaby, chief executive officer of the Arab-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce. Speaking to Construction Week at The Big 5 2016, he said that, while the overall figure of $8.7bn represents a 2% year-on-year fall for the period, building materials accounted for the largest proportion of Brazil’s exports to the region. Noting that GCC markets will continue to play a “very important” role for Brazil, Alaby commented: “There are around 300 projects in the pipeline for [Expo 2020,] as well as for [Dubai Plan 2021]. This means Brazilian companies have good opportunities to enter or maintain a presence in the market.”

Portacool shows coolers ideal for work sites

Portacool brought a selection of evaporative coolers to The Big 5 2016. The units are designed to offer cooling for construction teams working on job sites with high ambient temperatures, such as those in the Middle East.

Bob Mangiaforte, vice president of sales, told Construction Week that Portacool’s range is sufficiently diverse to cater to the full spectrum of the region’s cooling needs.

“Projects in the Middle East need to stay on task and on time,” he said. “If you can keep your workers cool, they’re going to be safer and more productive.

“The total cost of ownership (TCO) of our products is very low; it costs around AED2-3 per day to run a [Hurricane 3600 unit, for example].

“Portacool has such a developed and extensive list of models, it is able to meet the cooling requirements of pretty much any work site.

“We have coolers [ranging] from less than $272 (AED1,000) to more than $2,722 (AED10,000). It all depends on the requirements of the client in question,” Mangiaforte added.

Danube to expand into African market

Danube Group is pursuing expansion in markets outside of the Middle East.

The UAE-headquartered supplier of construction materials and finishings, which exhibited a selection of its sanitary-ware products at The Big 5 2016, is in talks with several distributors in East and West Africa.

Anis Sajan (pictured below), managing director of Danube, told Construction Week that he has already agreed terms with a partner in Nigeria.

“Dubai is a [hub] for the Middle East when it comes to distribution,” he said. “For the last few years, we’ve been receiving significant interest from Africa, especially from markets such as Nigeria, Ethiopia, Kenya, and so on.

“We have given a franchise to [a partner in Nigeria]. He’s not covering the whole of the country; just part of it.”

Danube is also looking to extend its activities in the GCC region, as Sajan explained.

“We are opening several new branches in Oman and, with Expo 2020 on the horizon, we might open a few more showrooms in the UAE,” he revealed. “We already have plans to establish a new facility in Abu Dhabi.”

Aleris showcases anodised aluminium

Aleris used The Big 5 2016 as a platform to showcase its anodised aluminium products to prospective customers in the Middle East.

The US-headquartered aluminium extruder told Construction Week that, while its products are widely used in the European and Southeast Asian markets, it is looking to increase its market share in the Gulf region.

Speaking during the exhibition, Alain Dufour (pictured below), sales director for the industrial segment at Aleris, said that the company’s products are ideal for use in the GCC market.

“[Our aluminium] is really suited to the Middle East market because [it] is the first metal product that has [attained] the NFPA 285 standard, which is the fire-resistant standard that has been [stipulated by Dubai Municipality],” he explained.

Owing to its anodised nature, Dufour added that Aleris aluminium was well suited to developers and building owners looking to give their projects unique aesthetic designs.

“[We produce] anodised aluminium that is either naturally anodised or colour anodised,” he noted. “This is a very hard surface [that is achieved with] a chemical treatment; it protects the aluminium for decades.

“[Anodisation] allows us to perforate, bend, transform, and expand the aluminium. This [means that] clients can create an exclusive façade that will be very specific to a single building,” Dufour added.

Competition heats up at PMV Live 2016

M H Al Mahroos hosted an excavator challenge during PMV Live, the construction equipment exhibition collocated with The Big 5.

Contestants climbed aboard one of the Bahrain-based equipment distributor’s mini-excavators to score a series of mechanical slam dunks in as short a time as possible.

Speaking during the event, Talal Al Mahroos, marketing manager at the company, said: “The leader board shows those with the quickest time in the excavator challenge, and it’s great to see so many people enjoy the spirit of the competition while they get to know the workings of the machine.”

Al Mahroos was not the only highlight from PMV Live’s action zone. Attendees cheered on Inter Equipment’s Guinness World Record-holding skip loader, as its operator attempted to perform tricks and beat the previous benchmark.

Meanwhile, DigiRobotics, KUKA’s official partner in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, offered visitors the chance to explore how robotics can be used to facilitate 3D-printing technologies with industrial applications. The firm also demonstrated its automated heavy-duty platforms for internal logistics, and high-speed metal-cutting lasers.

James Meltz, director of PMV Live and Middle East Concrete, said: “In addition to the thousands of products on display and the robust educational offering at this year’s show, we wanted to ensure that our visitors would be thoroughly entertained at the action zone.

“Thanks to our partnerships with some of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies in the industry, the action zone has truly lived up to its expectations,” he added.

Chevron launches GCC-spec engine oil

Chevron used The Big 5 2016 as a launch pad for its latest diesel engine oil, which has been specifically designed to meet the requirements of Middle East users. Caltex Delo 400 MGX SAE 15W-40 is formulated to suit high operating temperatures, and is compatible with both new and old diesel engines. The product, which Chevron described as a heavy-duty engine oil for all operational environments, can also be used with either high- or low-sulphur diesel. Adriaan de Kok, area business manager for authorised Caltex representative Chevron Al Khalij, said: “Caltex Delo 400 MGX addresses the regional challenges, while meeting the latest American Petroleum Institute (API) specification, as well as many OEM [original equipment manufacturer] approvals.”

Imdaad eyes mobile FM through Imtedaad

Imdaad used The Big 5 2016 to launch a mobile-friendly version of its Imtedaad technology. Imtedaad allows users to conduct cognitive computing, predictive maintenance, machine-to-machine (M2M) communication, automatic correction, real-time monitoring and asset tracking, and energy management, using mobile devices. The platform analyses the performance of interconnected assets, and provides correlated data analysis to produce recommendations and corrective actions for facility optimisation, according to Imdaad. Jamal Abdullah Lootah, chief executive officer of Imdaad, said: “By introducing the new mobile version of Imtedaad, we are enabling users to access the system on their mobile devices, even if they are not on site.”

CPS inks distribution deal with Qatari firm

UAE-headquartered Concept Piping Systems (CPS) signed a distribution agreement with Qatar’s Pipes Technology Company on the second day of The Big 5 2016.

Under the terms of the deal, Pipes Technology will become the sole distributor for the Ras Al Khaimah-based manufacturer in the Qatari market, distributing its Thermo Concept, Draino Concept, Draino Concept Silent, Electro Concept, ConceptPert, and AgroConcept lines.

Joseph Nahra (pictured above), CEO of CPS, said: “[Pipes Technology] is not only our exclusive distributor in Qatar, but our partner in business.”

The news comes following a string of similar agreements, including a recent distribution deal for Yemen. Nahra added: “[CPS has] approximately 25 agents all over the world, and we are expanding further.”

The manufacturer’s UAE portfolio includes a range of high-profile residential, retail, and hospitality projects in Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

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