Now in its second year, The Big 5 Kuwait has grown more than 40 per cent from last year attracting a huge mix of exhibitors and visitors who are setting their eyes on the opportunities in the country’s construction sector.
FOLLOWING its successful debut last year, Kuwait’s largest building and construction exhibition is now set to be staged next month (September 22 to 24) at the Kuwait International Fair against a backdrop of significant growth opportunities in the country’s construction sector.
This year’s edition of The Big 5 Kuwait is expected to be 40 per cent larger than the inaugural event last year and will feature more than 35 free-to-attend educational programmes, according to the organiser of the exhibition.
The exhibition, which will showcase a comprehensive range of innovative products and cutting-edge technologies for the construction sector, will feature a ‘live’ theatre to give hands-on demonstrations of the new products along with other special events such as the FM Congress, certified workshops, networking roundtables, and a ‘How to Trade in Kuwait’ seminar.
These free-to-attend events have been designed with the Kuwait construction market in mind and ensure the continued professional development of its delegates, according to dmg::events, the organiser.
The show now includes more focused products on building interiors.
A many as 200 exhibitors are expected to take part in The Big 5 Kuwait, which will feature some 14 national pavilions from Turkey, China, Germany, Italy, the UK, Greece, Spain, Korea, India, Jordan, Egypt, Kuwait, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia. Some 3,500 sq m of exhibition space has been booked to date.
Andy White, group event director, The Big 5, says: “The demand for fresh technology and new building materials is on a steady rise in Kuwait, driven by the robust performance of the construction and infrastructure sector. The total cost of infrastructure and construction projects in 2014 will touch $23.2 billion. All this activity strongly supports the need for The Big 5 Kuwait, which is set to present the latest tools and equipment for the construction sector during its second edition.
“With a greater exhibition area on offer, we are confident that we will continue to provide industry professionals with an opportunity to source new and international products, a place to network and also an opportunity to continue their professional development through the series of free-to-attend educational features.”
According to a recent report by Ventures Middle East, the construction contracts in the country are set to reach $17.5 billion by the end of 2014 from $9.8 billion in 2011. Among the major infrastructure projects under various stages of planning and construction are Kuwait International Airport (KIA) redevelopment project, Kuwait Metro, and the Kuwait National Rail Road System.
The $698.5-million KIA redevelopment is one of the key projects in Kuwait, which includes improvement of airport buildings and enhancement of other facilities such as fire stations, rescue centres and service roads. The planned expansion will increase the airport’s annual capacity to 20 million passengers. Likewise, the construction of a second terminal worth $3.3 billion will enable the airport to handle 13 million passengers annually during the first phases, with plans to increase this to 25 million and 50 million during subsequent phases.
The $7-billion Kuwait Metro project is another vital project currently in the design stage. Nearly 65 per cent underground, the metro will cover more than 160 km, comprising 69 stations on its three lines.
Meanwhile, the $10-billion Kuwait National Rail Road System will be an integrated rail network with a total length of 511 km double track. To be built on a build-operate-and-transfer (BOT) basis, the project is currently in the final process of design with budget and allocation being already made and the tendering process expected to commence soon.
Launched in 2013, The Big 5 Kuwait received an overwhelming response for its first ever show. More than 5,600 industry professionals, which included architects, engineers, contractors and developers, attended the three-day event to source products for real estate and infrastructure projects estimated to be worth $116 billion that are under way in the country.
Held at the Kuwait International Fair from September 16 to 18, 2013, the inaugural event attracted about 189 exhibitors over 4,460 sq m of an exhibition space.
According to a survey conducted at the show last year, 67 per cent of visitors came to source international products, 65 per cent came to see new product innovations, with an overwhelming 95 visitors saying they would attend in 2014.
Furthermore, 73 per cent of exhibitors participated in the show to sell their products to new customers. Also 91 per cent of exhibitors rated their return on investment in the show from average to excellent while more than 90 per cent of exhibitors said they planned to exhibit in the 2014 show.
Commenting on last year’s show, one of the exhibitors Chris Brocklehurst, operations manager, Instant Access, says: “The Big 5 Kuwait was an outstanding success for Instant Access. With over 168 sales and rental equipment leads – 90 per cent of which are new business enquiries – the show exceeded our expectations. In addition, we secured over $1 million of new orders for Sany cranes, Case skid steers and a Clark Forklift during the event.”
Another exhibitor, Amer A Naghi, branch manager, Jubaili Bros, says: “It was indeed an excellent event of its type in Kuwait. We had a great exhibition and we are glad that we have achieved our objectives. We enjoyed the event and met a good number of people and decision makers!”
The show saw the launch of the Sustainable Design and Construction Conference, where more than 20 speakers deliberated on how to deliver sustainable projects on time and on budget in Kuwait. More than 250 delegates attended a diverse range of sessions including project management, establishing a green building code for Kuwait, healthcare infrastructure and more.
A US Green Building Council (USGBC)Leed 201 workshop provided delegates with essential knowledge on sustainable building concepts that are fundamental to all Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) rating systems.