His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum officially inaugurated Middle East’s largest construction event, The Big 5, and the co-located Big 5 Solar on November 26. The President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group also took a tour of the exhibition that covers the entire Dubai World Trade Centre area, hosting over 2,500 exhibitors from 60 countries this year.

With 4,627 active projects in Dubai, and over 11,700 projects worth USD 818.2 billion across the UAE, the construction sector is strengthening its position as a key pillar of the national economy. Running until November 29, The Big 5 features a program that is expected to support and advance the local construction industry, committed to building new state-of-the-art facilities, infrastructures, and residential areas as part of mega projects like the much anticipated Expo 2020.

Josine Heijmans, Portfolio Event Director of The Big 5, said: “The Big 5 has been at the forefront of construction innovation for the past 38 years, and our mission to support and advance the construction industry is now stronger than ever. Our Summits, educational sessions and the thousands of innovative solutions on display this year are all geared towards facilitating the Dubai Plan 2021 and the UAE Vision 2021 by building fully connected and integrated infrastructures, as well as a sustainable, safe and resilient built environment.”

Endorsed by the Dubai Municipality and held under the patronage of the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, The Big 5 kicked off with two high level conferences, The Excellence in Construction Summit and The Big 5 Innovation in Precast Summit. Bringing together some of the most forward-thinking leaders from across the globe, the conferences presented revolutionary ideas and projects that are at the forefront of excellence in construction, including the latest developments in 3D printing discussed by Benjamin Piper, Principal and Partner with Killa Design, and Nick Billotti, Head of Special Projects at E.construct.

The Excellence in Construction Summit also welcomed Expo 2020 Dubai’s Vice President of Real Estate and Delivery, Ahmed Al Khatib, and the Chairman and Co-Founder of Hyperloop Transportation Technology, Bibop G. Gresta, who is planning to transport passengers between Abu Dhabi and Al Ain in 15 minutes. Ahead of his keynote speech unveiling the technology that is revolutionizing the transportation system, Mr. Gresta commented: “The UAE is guided by men with a great vision. We established here the epicenter of a giant revolution in transportation that will reshape how we connect our physical world. We’re not here to predict the future; we’re making it!

In line with Vision 2021 and the Dubai Clean Energy Strategy 2050, which saw the UAE launching the largest concentrated solar energy projects in the world and the first of its kind in the region earlier this year, the co-located Big 5 Solar showcases solar technologies from local and international exhibitors, including energy storage, solar thermal technologies (CSP) and photovoltaics to meet the escalating green demands in the GCC. Held under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy, “The Big 5 Solar offers a prime platform to empower the solar energy industry as it works towards achieving diversified and sustainable energy portfolios in the Middle East,” said Ms. Heijmans.

On November 27, the event will host the third edition of the Global Solar Leaders Summit (GSLS) that will gather governmental authorities, associations and industry leaders to discuss the present and future of renewables and solar energy. H.E. Dr. Matar Al Neyadi, Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Energy, H.E Dr. Rashid Alleem, Chairman of the Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority (SEWA), H.E. Dr. Khaled Eldestawy, First Undersecretary of Minister’s Office Affairs Sector at Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy (Egypt), and H.E. Dr. Nasser H. Saidi, Founder and President of Nasser Saidi & Associates and Chairman of the regional Clean Energy Business Council, are some of the speakers that will participate to the Summit.

Beyond the high-level conferences, The Big 5 and The Big 5 Solar offer more than 80 complimentary and CPD-certified Talks delivered by industry experts. Business, Technology, Sustainability, Project Management, MEP, Architecture and Solar Talks will allow visitors to stay up-to-date with the latest industry developments and global best practices across the four days of the show.

The Big 5 2017 showcases 360-degree building solutions clustered in five dedicated product sectors: Building Interiors & Finishes, Building Envelope & Special Construction, Construction Tools & Building Materials, Construct Technology & Innovation, and MEP Services with an all new HVAC-R dedicated hall. Each day, Live Product Demonstrations offer an interactive display of the most innovative products and technologies presented in real time by The Big 5 exhibitors, while the winner of the 10th edition of the Gaia Awards, recognizing the most sustainable construction products in the Middle East, will be announced on November 28.

Organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, The Big 5 and The Big 5 Solar are expected to welcome 79,000 visitors in 2017, running from 26 to 29 November at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

To learn more, www.thebig5.ae