His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group, Chairman of Dubai World, and Noor Takaful Insurance Company, officially inaugurated the 40th edition of The Big 5 at the Dubai World Trade Centre this morning. The construction industry mega-event is set to welcome over 2,390 local and international exhibitors from 66 countries showcasing 20,000 building solutions and products to 68,000+ expected participants from more than 130 countries over the four days of the show. As the region’s largest and most influential event for the construction industry celebrates four decades of success, for the first time, The Big 5 covers the full construction cycle with six specialised shows: The Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, HVAC R Expo, Middle East Stone, The Big 5 Solar, and the Urban Design & Landscape Expo. Vice President Construction – dmg events, Josine Heijmans, said: “Reflecting the impressive growth of the UAE and wider region, The Big 5 has developed into the global hub for the entire construction industry it is today. In a shifting economic landscape, innovation, technology, market insights, networking, and learning are key to remain competitive. It has never been more important for the industry to come together, address current challenges and shape future strategies.” With more than US$ 800 billion worth of construction contracts awarded over the last ten years, the MENA region’s future projects pipeline exceeds US$ 3.7 trillion. Construction projects alone account for US$ 2.4 trillion, according to a recent report by MEED Projects published by The Big 5. 59% of these upcoming construction projects are for mixed-used buildings, followed by infrastructure (21%), apartments, houses and villas (7%), airport, port and rail terminals (6%), hotels and resorts, hospitals and clinics, government facilities, and offices. The Big 5’s inaugural one-day CEO Forum began with insightful panel discussions on developments in the MENA construction industry, synergies between different stakeholders and the future of the construction industry. The exclusive Voice of the Construction Industry Report on current and upcoming industry trends, opportunities and challenges faced by industry stakeholders, developed by The Big 5 in collaboration with GRS Research & Strategy Middle East, was also unveiled to the CEO forum attendees. One of the highlights for this year’s expo is the brand new Offsite & Modular Construction Sector showcasing state-of-the-art offsite and modular construction solutions for residential, educational, healthcare as well as commercial applications. The opening day’s talks focused on topics such as the new wave of technologies disrupting the prefabrication and modular construction market, MEP modularisation, as well as the role of design in offsite and modular construction, among others. The themes of innovation and technology in the construction industry once again proved popular topics within the industry, as participants were able to visit The Start-Up City to meet start-ups presenting the most disruptive technologies that will shape the future of the construction industry. Meanwhile, the Live Innovation Zone featured some of the latest technological advances in the construction industry including a fully automated cleaning robot, an IoT platform that helps construction and rental companies to monitor their equipment, as well as an evaporative air cooler that saves 80% of power consumption. More than 240+ CPD-certified workshops and round tables, high-level summits and practical seminars also kicked off this morning fostering collaboration, supporting best practices, and providing effective solutions to today’s industry challenges. These include The Big 5 Talks, the FutureTech Construction Summit, the Autodesk Construction Technology Forum, the RIBA Talks, the RTA Innovation in BIM Summit, and the Urban Design & Landscape Summit among many others. On 26 November, the show will launch the new HVAC R Pioneers Summit, as part of the HVAC R Expo. This one-day summit brings together HVAC R industry leaders from across the region to discover the latest technologies, develop innovative strategies, and network with like-minded peers. The agenda for the HVAC R Pioneers’ Summit covers an overall market outlook on the Middle East’s HVAC R sector and discussions on the significance of indoor air quality, the growing demand for district cooling, and cooling of super-tall buildings, as well as a masterclass in ‘BIM + HVAC = Smarter buildings of the future’. Other highlights for tomorrow include the RIBA Talks, focused on fire safety in design and modern conservation and heritage buildings, the Offsite & Modular Construction Talks, and the Project Management Talks at The Big 5, the Solar Talks at The Big 5 Solar, the Stone Design Seminars at Middle East Stone, and the Urban Design Talks at the Urban Design & Landscape Expo. At The Big 5 Heavy, the RTA Innovation in BIM Summit held in partnership with the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), hosts industry leaders shedding light into the adoption and future trends of BIM in the UAE. “Here the summit will provide a ground for open discussion, and breakout sessions on what the future holds for BIM, updates on the latest trends while offering a look into evolving technologies like augmented reality, 3D printing, robotics, industrialised construction, IoT, and data analytics,” Heijmans added. Organised by dmg events, The Big 5 will continue until 28 November 2019 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. To know more, visit www.thebig5.ae.