A new report commissioned by The Big 5 has said that the value of contract awards for healthcare projects will increase by US$1.45 billion in 2015. According to the Ventures Middle East Onsite report, entitled GCC Healthcare Construction Market Outlook, around US$5.9 billion in contracts were awarded in 2014, but that figure is set to rise to US$7.3 billion in 2015, as population growth, higher per capita income, and life expectancy drive demand for healthcare services. The healthcare industry in Saudi Arabia is projected to remain the largest in the region, and register a CAGR of 9.2 percent from 2015 to 2020. Compound annual growth of 7 percent will see UAE join Qatar in registering the fastest growth as both countries seek to capitalise on an emerging medical tourism industry in the region. “Populations across the GCC are increasing in number, disposable income, and lifestyle and what this latest report demonstrates is that higher birth rates and life expectancies are creating demand for hospitals, health centres, and maternal, child, and elderly care services,” said Josine Heijmans, Event Director at DMG events and The Big 5. According to the report, the UAE is building more than 20 hospitals to care for the half a million medical tourists that are expected by 2020, with medical revenues to hit US$300 million by 2016. At the same time, the report states that Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait are also expected to register a significant rise in project completions in 2015. “Close to 70 mega-hospital projects are under construction, each of which are valued at over US$100 million, and there are a further 280 smaller hospital projects mentioned in the report as being under construction,” said Heijmans. The report comes ahead of the Middle East region’s biggest construction event, The Big 5, which will be held at Dubai World Trade Centre on 23-26 November. Some 85,000 participants are expected to attend the event, which will feature 30 live demonstrations and 75 free CPD-certified seminars led by experts from across the industry. The headline event will welcome more than 3,000 exhibitors who will showcase some of the most innovative technologies from around the world, and their applicability in GCC markets. The Big 5 International Building & Construction Show is the biggest and most respected construction exhibition in the Middle East. For 35 years it has welcomed the world’s top industry professionals from across the industry and has built up an unrivalled portfolio of product categories that extends from architecture, to interior design, building materials and equipment, green and smart city technologies, facilities management, and software infrastructure. In addition to exhibitor products, The Big 5 has become synonymous with being at the forefront of the industry, providing industry insights from influential business leaders and offering more free educational content on-site than any other event in the Middle East and Asia. In 2014, more than 55 CPD accredited workshops, a conference, and 30 live demonstrations were made available to 2,800 exhibitors from 61 countries and 80,000 visitors from 147 countries at the event at World Trade Centre in Dubai.