Expo News - Big 5 Review

The Big 5 ... attracted a record number of visitors.

The Big 5 ... attracted a record number of visitors.

Show shatters previous records

January 2008

The Big 5 2007, which bettered its records for exhibitors, visitors and sales clinched, concluded last November with the organisers expecting to shatter further records when this year’s edition opens later this year.

Last year’s show featured 2,839 companies from 52 countries and 30 national pavilions, once again reinforcing the position of the Middle East as one of the world’s most active and important markets for the construction industry.
“This was definitely the best-ever Big 5 event,” says Bernard Walsh, managing director at dmg world media Dubai, which organises the show.
The Big 5 is now by far the largest event in the Mena (Middle East and North Africa) region, as it clinched the all-time record number of professional trade visitors that came to the show – 50,420 – an increase of 22.8 per cent on last year. There was also a huge increase in the number of visitors from outside the UAE.
“We were delighted to welcome so many VIP visitors from different countries, another proof if that were needed of the global importance of the show,” says Walsh.
At the inauguration of the show, Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry, was accompanied by a large number of local dignitaries. The show also happened to be the first in the region to have welcomed a Prime Minister, when Italy’s Romano Prodi visited the Big 5, accompanied by the Italian Minister for International Trade.
During the first four days, the show also welcomed a high-level delegation of VIPs including the UK Minister for Trade & Investment Digby Lord Jones of Birmingham; Turkish Minister of State for Foreign Trade Kursad Tuzmen and deputy mayor of Vienna Hans Mayr.
The outstanding success of The Big 5 provides more evidence of the dramatic growth of the construction markets in the Arabian Gulf, and the outstanding opportunities they offer to international and local manufacturers and suppliers. It also emphasises the importance of Dubai as a global commercial hub.
“To a large extent, the substantial growth of the professional attendance this year is due to an increase in visitors from an ever wider geographic area,” says exhibition director Bob Hughes.
“We are witnessing substantial growth in the number of visitors from the other GCC countries, from Africa and Asia as well as from Europe.
The Big 5 is now recognised as one of the most important events for the construction industry worldwide.”
He adds: “The show has been an outstanding success for the more than 2,800 companies taking part, as well as for the many thousands of trade and professional visitors who have come to do business here as well.

Deals clinched
Featuring the largest ever official German representation at any exhibition anywhere in the world, and with record numbers of participants from many countries including Italy and Turkey, the Big 5 was voted a resounding success by exhibitors, who clinched deals worth millions of dollars through the five days of the show.
Companies from Germany, Italy, the UK, China, Sardinia, Austria and France made brisk sales as the show wound to a close with exhibitors saying “this was the best ever.”
British firms were among those that reported successful performance.
Modulor’s UAE arm said it had won a Dh21.5 million ($5.87 million) contract to supply 600 bathrooms to the Dubai Sports City.
Another British firm, Liquid Plastics, won a $2 million contract to waterproof and insulate the roof – a total area of 60,000 sq m – of a printing press in Dubai.
Liquid Plastics will soon open an office in Dubai as the company has received some 350 enquiries from the region.
UK-based wooden floor manufacturer Alomi signed two deals totalling $3 million: In the first contract, Alomi will supply – in four phases – 18,000 sq m of tropical wood for a five-star hotel project in Riyadh, says managing director Albert Douglas. In the second, traditional English Oak flooring, worth $2 million, will be supplied to a hotel and residential project at Noida, India.
Another UK exhibitor Timberwolf signed a $2.6 million deal for the supply of solid English white oak to a construction company in Bahrain.
Thanks to the high level of environmental awareness in the region, the UK’s EHS International has bagged orders worth $2.5 million from a local firm in Abu Dhabi, says company manager Mick Taylor.
The promotion manager of the Regional Foreign Trade Centre of Sardinia, Antonio Fanni, says the 10 companies from Sardinia had signed deals worth $50 million for the supply of stone and marble to the various projects in Dubai including the Waterfront.
From the Italian contingent Master Italy, a producer of accessories for aluminium doors and windows, says it increased its business in the UAE by 70 per cent last year, and crowned it with a deal at the Big 5. “We have confirmed a deal at the show worth more than €1.1 million ($1.6 million),” said a company spokesman.
Austria’s glass-cutting machine maker, Lisec clinched a local order value at $3 million.
“We have very good enquiries and expect to conclude orders worth over $35 million in the coming months,” says Lisec managing director, Karl Gartner.
Germany’s Steinel, which has opened an outlet in the UAE, signed a contract worth $1.5 million with three clients from Iran – a bank, a commercial establishment and the government – to supply energy-saving and security systems.
The energy-saving systems can bring down the costs by 88 per cent, says Rolf G Andreas, vice president of sales at Steinel, a world leader in products such as motion sensors and other innovative lighting solutions.
Commenting on the Big 5, Gerhard Gizler, head of the German unit of foreign trade, says: “Altogether the show has been very good for German companies. Orders come not only at the show but also several months after it.”
Germany’s Sunflex, a manufacturer of aluminium folding and sliding doors, signed three deals worth a total of Dh1 million ($272,000). The clients were two UAE-based companies and a Saudi firm, says Adnan Fatayerji, marketing and sales managing director of Sunflex Middle East.
Four UAE clients have placed orders totalling Dh1 million with show debutants German RivieraPool, a market leader in whirlpools and commercial spas. The company had enquiries from over 300 serious clients, says marketing manager Uwe Rengers.
“We will be back next year with more environment friendly products,” he says.

PMV success
Meanwhile, the inaugural issue of the Big 5 PMV exhibition held concurrently at the Airport Expo, was also billed a success by the show’s organisers Streamline Marketing Group, and dmg world media.
“The business deals done at the show were phenomenal – a number of dealer agreements were signed and many exhibitors have sold all of their equipment, directly from their stand,” says director Nick Webb.
“The calibre of exhibitors at the event and visitors has been exceptional.
“It was the biggest single-sector launch event that Dubai has ever seen, attracting more than 240 key manufacturers and suppliers from 24 countries,” he said.
The show covered more than 30,000 sq m of exhibition space including a huge outdoor arena where the latest innovations in construction equipment were put on show.
The four-day seminar programme featured local and international industry experts, speaking on topical construction issues such as workplace safety, with interactive sessions having generated a positive response from both exhibitors and visitors.
Laith Kubba, director, Streamline Marketing Group says: “This is a very important event for Dubai and the Middle East region and we are delighted with the high calibre of local and international exhibitors who have supported the first Big 5 PMV event. We look forward to building upon the success of this event for the next show.”

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