Second Saudi edition attracts more international companies, doubles exhibition space
More than 400 exhibitors from 35 countries will converge on the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for The Big 5 Saudi which takes place this month from March 10 to 13. They will be seeking to tap into the opportunities offered by the mammoth construction market of the kingdom, following the outstanding success of the inaugural event last year.
More than 75 per cent of the exhibitors taking part in this year’s show are international companies.
Held under the patronage of Prince Mansour bin Mutaib bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs, the event has had to double exhibition space due to the increased attraction from global companies from countries such as Germany, Italy, Turkey, France, Spain, the UK, India, Korea, Belgium, Canada and Greece, says dmg::events, the show’s organiser.
White: Buyers will be able to see
the most innovative products from
all over the world
Visitors to the show can expect to see a wide range of construction materials including marble and stone, bathrooms and ceramics, windows and doors plus much more.
Andy White, event director for The Big 5 Saudi, said: “The success of the inaugural event in 2011 blew us away, we saw more than 9,000 visitors attend and an impressive 306 exhibitors representing 28 countries. Having to double the size of space available in just the second year is a fantastic representation of the need for such an event in the Saudi market and the long-term interest that the industry is investing there.”
Over 60 per cent of exhibitors at The Big 5 Saudi 2011 were from overseas, but this year there are considerably more international companies looking to meet buyers and distributors.
The increase in international companies looking to meet buyers and distributors highlights the importance of Saudi Arabia as a key market for international companies and the vital role trade shows like The Big 5 play in reaching this audience, according to White.
Saudi Arabia’s construction boom, which appears to show no slow down in the coming years, has certainly not been overlooked by those experiencing a more volatile market in other regions across the world. As the largest market in the GCC at present and with more than $112.8 billion worth of projects expected in 2012, Saudi Arabia indeed presents a significant number of opportunities for international companies and The Big 5 Saudi gives the platform to access these.
A report recently commissioned by The Big 5, ‘New technologies utilised in the GCC market’ produced by Ventures Middle East, highlighted Saudi Arabia’s influence as holding 51 per cent of the on-going projects in the GCC at present. Furthermore, in the report’s list of most influential clients in the GCC construction market, six of the top 10 were from Saudi Arabia, including the top spot being held by Emaar Economic City. The project category showed a similar pattern, with 18 out of the 25 building projects in the GCC being based in the kingdom and the number one project also being awarded to Emaar Economic City for King Abdullah Economic City (KAEC).
Commenting on the importance international companies are continuing to place on the Saudi market, Stuart Burns, CEO of the UK exhibitor Dura Composites, said: “Following expansion into the Middle East via Dubai, we see Saudi Arabia as a natural next step to expand our composite technology into a growth region. Following exploratory visits to the region via UKTi events, we aim to use the exhibition to finalise our route to market, most probably partnering with a distributor on an exclusive basis.”
“This year’s event is sure to be something of a barometer for the industry in Saudi Arabia and we look forward to a busy and productive four days,” said White.
The event will take two full halls at the Jeddah Centre for Forums and Events, as well as outdoor space – an increase from the one hall that was filled at the inaugural event.
The 2012 event will include a brand new dedicated Concrete Zone and a Facilities Management (FM) Zone, which will provide platforms for these two important industry sectors to position their products and services in a tailored environment. This ensures visitors have easy access to international products, information and technology all in one place.
The Big 5 Saudi will gather exhibitors dealing in these products all together in one place, providing a tailor-made opportunity for all visitors active in the concrete sector to find the international products, information and technology they need.
Another sector that is growing in influence in the construction business is facility management. “The dedicated Facilities Management Zone at this year’s event is aimed at providing visitors with an all-encompassing facilities management arena. The Saudi FM Summit was launched at The Big 5 Saudi last year and its success has led to the development of this dedicated zone,” said White.
Also part of The Big 5 Saudi will be a series of workshops including Leed (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) and concrete repair workshops to keep participants abreast of the latest advancements and developments in the fields.
The Leed workshop aims to identify the key components of the Leed rating system and to discuss the overall Leed certification process. Mario Seneviratne, Leed fellow, US Green Building Council (USGBC) Leed Faculty, and director of Green Technologies, will be the workshop facilitator, bringing with him over 34 years of experience in sustainable engineering. The workshop will be divided into eight modules, covering topics including water efficiency, energy and atmosphere, materials and design innovation.
The Concrete Repair Workshop will ensure participants are up to date with concrete repair and corrosion knowledge in line with the most recent European standards and Concrete Society technical reports.
Meanwhile, MEI caught up with White in the run-up to find out more about the show’s key features…
How is the response to the show this year? Has all space available been taken up?
The response to the 2012 event has been exceptional, and we have had to double the exhibition space in order to accommodate the demand. Interest from international companies has also increased, with global companies making up 75 per cent of total participation this year.
How does this year’s event compare to the inaugural show?
Last year surpassed all expectations and we were blown away by how positively the show was received. This year, we have built upon that success, with more exhibition space as well as a series of new elements. We will be introducing the Concrete Zone which will gather exhibitors dealing in these products all together in one place, providing a tailor-made opportunity for visitors active in the concrete sector to find the international products, information and technology they need. The heavy construction sector is expected to increase significantly in the coming years, particularly in the Western Province, and so we wanted to provide an area for those looking for further information.
In addition, there will also be the return of the Facilities Management (FM) Zone, which proved to be extremely popular last year. This sector is one that continues to rise in its influence within the earlier stages of the construction process and the FM Zone will provide FM managers with a range of companies who can offer services and advice.
What are the key sectors covered by the event and which are the top five sectors in the Saudi market?
Visitors to The Big 5 Saudi can expect to see a full range of construction materials including air-conditioning, marble and stone, bathrooms and ceramics, windows and doors, plant and machinery, sealants, adhesives and chemicals, precast concrete suppliers plus much more.
A recent report from Ventures Middle East conducted on behalf of The Big 5 shows that the share of construction projects in Saudi Arabia is split as follows: buildings, 50 per cent; oil and gas, 17 per cent; industrial, 13 per cent; infrastructure, nine per cent; power and water, eight per cent; pipeline, two per cent; and marine one per cent.
What are the new features for 2012?
Apart from a new 8,000-sq-m purpose-built temporary structure housing 150 exhibitors, new features at this year’s event include a dedicated Concrete Zone, as well as a new workshop on concrete repair, which will be conducted by experts from the industry, including Tim Thomas, business segment manager, BASF Construction Chemicals, and Kevin Davies, senior corrosion engineer, CorroCiv. We will also be staging the US Green Build Council’s Leed 201 Core Concepts and Strategies training course, facilitated by Mario Seneviratne, Leed faculty member and Leed mentor.
Do you have any elements similar to the Dubai Big 5 like the Gaia awards and the key buyers programme?
No, we have not chosen to launch the Gaia awards at The Big 5 Saudi. As the Saudi event is still in its infancy and gaining momentum, we want to ensure that we have established a solid exhibition and educational offering before introducing new elements.
The Key Buyers programme at the Big 5 Dubai is a relatively new initiative and was launched after a long period of research. We will not have a specific key buyers programme at this year’s Saudi event but research is already under way to establish the key construction buyers in the Western province and we will introduce this at The Big 5 Saudi 2013.
What sets the show apart?
This year’s Big 5 Saudi will be the largest construction exhibition ever held in the Western Province. It will offer buyers the chance to view the industry’s most innovative construction products from all over the world, many of which will be seen for the first time in Saudi Arabia.
The breadth and diversity of international product is something no other event can deliver and will enable our buyers to source the most suitable products for their current projects.