JEDDAH: Big 5 Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Which is the largest construction show in the middle east, formally opened to the public in Jeddah on Sunday evening.
Jeddah was chosen to host the show, said event director Andy White, as around 34 percent of all projects planned in Saudi Arabia are in the Western Province. As of July 2010, there were 710 active projects in the Western Province alone, where Jeddah is the central business hub.
“The Big 5 event had taken place in Dubai for over 30 years and is the largest construction event in the Middle East. It attracts more than 3,200 exhibitors and 48,000 visitors from over 120 different countries annually: said White , he added “It is the event’s first foray into Saudi Arabia and to judge from pre-registration numbers it promises to be very successful”.
“We had thousands of Saudi visitors each year and it was this, and feedback from our exhibitors, that prompted us to launch in Jeddah,” he told Arab News on Sunday during the final preparations for the show. He said the process of assembling the exhibitors and the build-up to the show, which took just three days, had been remarkably smooth.
Elie Rizk, CEO of MICE Arabia, said the proactive help from Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled Al-Faisal and the assistance of the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI) had been instrumental in bringing and facilitating both the establishment and logistics of the show. “It has been an altogether a very positive experience.”
This event will targets Saudi Arabia’s architects, engineers, contractors, project managers and construction professionals, and aims to capitalize on the booming construction industry and high investor confidence in the Kingdom. More than 260 companies across the full range of the construction industry are exhibiting at the four-day event.
Jeddah was chosen to host the show, said event director Andy White, as around 34 percent of all projects planned in Saudi Arabia are in the Western Province.As of July 2010, there were 710 active projects in the Western Province alone, where Jeddah is the central business hub.
He said the process of assembling the exhibitors and the build-up to the show, which took just three days, had been remarkably smooth.
An amalgamation of five former industry specific shows, each with its own product focus, the Big 5 brings together a wide range of local and international brands such as Al-Jawdah Ceramic, Alwasail Industrial Company, Betec CAD Industries, Conmix, Eurostone, Hess Group, Kersten Europe Middle East, Zamil Steel Industries, Sikka Saudi Arabia, Rootika Paints and Manchamar.
Around 70 percent of the exhibiting companies are from outside Saudi Arabia and 65 percent from outside the GCC.
Sunday featured US Green Building Council Leed workshops, which gave insights into Leed standards and systems, an increasingly important area of understanding for all construction professionals.
The event also features a “Leadership Strategy Day”, a series of round table discussions aimed at policy and decision makers in both the private and public sectors. The sessions will address key areas such as sustainable building, market outlook and green build.
According to Middle East Interiors, the Saudi government is set to invest $400 billion in infrastructure over the next five years.The value of building and construction contracts from 2009 to 2012 is expected to exceed $138 billion.
With more than 70 percent of the population below the age of 30, six mega economic cities under development and a 50 percent increase in demand for residential housing in the next three years, the Kingdom’s building market is very attractive to inward investors and construction contractors.