The precast market in the GCC is expected to increase against the backdrop of a growing construction industry which is calling for more flexible, cost-effective and durable concrete solutions. According to The Big 5 Heavy 2018’s research partner BNC Project Intelligence, the GCC currently has the highest number of active construction projects in the MENA region, with a total estimated value of USD 1.7 trillion. Leading the GCC, the UAE makes up approximately 45% of on-going builds in the region, with Dubai alone accounting for over half the recorded developments. Government sponsorship is energizing the expansion of infrastructure in the Emirate as the city prepares to host the Dubai Expo 2020, and works to achieve Smart City 2021 goals of connectivity and integration. The Precast Market Outlook report reveals that as result of these mega projects, the majority of investment opportunities are in the urban construction and transport sector. Newly constructed villas can incorporate full precast low-bearing wall systems or be made entirely out of precast, and the construction of rail systems, highways and roads require precast production including pre-stressed beams and road barriers. Some of the main projects currently underway in these sectors include the Desert Rose Smart City and the Dubai Harbor, both of which are worth more than USD 1 billion, the Dubai Metro Red Line Extension to the Expo site (USD 2.9 billion) and Phase 2 of the Expansion of Al Maktoum International Airport (USD 2 billion). Discussing the increasing variety of projects in the urban segment, Event Director of The Big 5 Heavy Richard Pavitt foresees that “advancements in technology that allow for a wider application of precast materials will be a huge demand driver for the market”. He adds that “major benefits for adopting precast concrete include cost savings, durability, flexibility, comfort, as well as the solution having environmental benefits.” The Middle East’s largest construction industry exhibition will host a two-day high level summit before The Big 5 Heavy. The Big 5 Innovation in Precast Summit will be held on 26 & 27 November 2017 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, and in partnership with Betontage, will unveil the latest techniques and technology for the regional precast market as well as a full agenda featuring leading experts in the precast industry. Held at the same location, The Big 5 Heavy trade fair will run from 26-28 March 2018 and go on to showcase the latest products in precast processing as well as heavy machinery for the transportation and installation of all construction materials. These will be clustered into five product sectors: Middle East Concrete, PMV Live, Foundations & Geotechnical, Mining & Quarrying, and Road Construction. The event will bring the whole heavy construction industry together with over 350 local and international exhibiting brands showcasing under one roof. The Big 5 Heavy is the largest dedicated heavy construction industry exhibition, organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa and supported by finished lubricants manufacturer, Caltex (Lubricant Official Partner). This event is a re-launch of the previously independent Middle East Concrete and PMV Live.