The Big 5: it's big

If the size of the show is a barometer, it's time to start celebrating

COMMENT, SPECIAL REPORTS, Big 5, Business

At the time of writing, it’s just past 9am on the first day of the Big 5 and the show opens in two hours. The Construction Week team is gathered on site and is preparing for a busy and exciting week, while exhibitors are making last minute adjustments to their stands.

I’ve just really only one, inarticulate thought on seeing the show. Wow.

Big 5 is a show with a special place for me since it was the first assignment I had on my arrival in the UAE (which now seems a very long time ago), and it’s great to be returning. And what is surprising, heartening and encouraging is seeing just how much the show has grown.

Conventional wisdom says this shouldn’t be happening. Conventional wisdom says that in this time of reduced liquidity and general economic slowdown, Big 5 should be smaller. Yet I’m delighted to report that Big 5 is so large in 2009 that it’s spread out across the exhibition centre so much, it’s almost as if they’ve had to build new halls especially to accommodate it.

Make no mistake. Big 5 is very, very big this year. Looking across, you wouldn’t even believe there was a slowdown. Make sure you’ve got some rollerskates or a Segway this year because I think you’re going to need it if you’re hoping to see it all. This is great news for all of us, because let’s face it, it’s construction that forms the beating heart behind the success of this region. And right now, it looks like there is a lot of heart still in this industry.
 

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