Dubai has built its fame developing some of the tallest, largest, and most magnificent construction projects in the world. Recognized globally as a luxury destination, the Emirate might have a surprise in store.

Dubai is now focusing on building more compact and efficient developments in response to market demands, an expert reveals to The Big 5.

“In response to a growing request, most master developers are building residential units that are both smaller and more efficient,”

says Ahmad Bukhash, Director of Urban Planning at the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority (DCCA).

The new trend is in full swing. Driven by demand, today the average size of villas is smaller in comparison to the previous market offer. Residential apartments follow just the same trend, with studios and 1-bedroom units being the most requested.

The shift goes well beyond the size of the units.

“More than building smaller, the new trend is about building affordably. This is why the crucial question for architects in Dubai is to understand what affordable housing really means.”

The answer, according to Bukhash, is clear. Developing affordable buildings means first and foremost building efficiently.

“Minimizing the cost for the developer is the best way to provide affordable buildings. Going forward, we need to understand how to save on construction costs and how to use new technologies to speed up the construction process.”

Building efficiently requires a combination of new regulations, building materials and guidelines that allow developers to use innovative technologies and implement prototypes, Bukhash explains.

“There’s an unprecedented call for innovative technologies and efficient building solutions to come into play in the Emirate’s fast paced construction industry,”

comments Josine Heijmans, Portfolio Director of The Big 5, the region’s leading construction event.

“This is why the 2018 edition of The Big 5 will fully focus on innovation.”

Under the theme “Shaping the future of construction”, the event will introduce the brand new Live Innovation Zone, where demonstrations will feature some of the newest and most innovative products available, and the Start-up City, gathering the next construction tech disruptors.

The show will also present the first FutureTech Construction Summit, exploring future trends and technologies through case studies, panel discussions and thought-provoking presentations.

Over 2,500 construction companies from around the globe are expected to take part in the 39th edition of The Big 5 in Dubai. Here, they will meet over 60,000 industry professionals looking to source products for almost 12,000 construction projects currently active in the UAE.

To know more about the event, visit

About Ahmad Bukhash

Ahmad Bukhash is currently the Director of Urban Planning at the Dubai Creative Clusters Authority and responsible for reviewing and regulating iconic master plans that fall within the Jurisdiction of major master developers within the Emirate such as Dubai Holding and MERAAS. These iconic developments encompass prominent developments such as the Dubai Design District; Dubai Harbour; Dubai International Financial Center; Dubai Hills Estate and Dubai Creek Harbour Developments.

During his studies Ahmad Bukhash first received his Bachelor of Architecture from the Wentworth Institute of Technology from Boston in 2002. Following the completion of his Bachelor degree, he then received the prestigious monbukagakusho scholarship from the Japanese Government in collaboration with the UAE ministry of higher education to continue his Architectural Master Studies in Japan at the Kyoto Institute of Technology, which he completed in 2006. After his graduation Bukhash returned to the UAE and was employed by Dubai Properties Group from 2007 until 2014 as the Director of Urban Planning and Design.

During his work career, Bukhash identified the need for developments to reflect the identity of their own culture and embody the spirit of place through modern abstractions and reinterpretations of traditional archetypes. This instigated him to establish his own architectural design practice in 2009 named ARCHIDENTITY. The main purpose behind the firm's establishment was to define a unique architectural identity suited to the present age in line with the Emirati traditions and customs. Bukhash was awarded the Sheikh Rashid Award for Academic Excellence in 2010 and remains heavily engaged in the field of Architectural Education as a Member of the Dubai Advisory Committee for the Architectural Program Development at the American University of Dubai.


About The Big 5

The Big 5 is the construction event providing leading-edge innovation, knowledge, and business opportunities for industry players around the world to connect, grow, and succeed.

Taking place annually in Dubai since 1979, the event has launched hundreds of thousands of products boosting the expansion of emerging markets. It has facilitated partnerships, advanced knowledge and industry best practices, while serving as the gateway for international companies to access the Middle East, Africa and South Asia regions.

The Big 5 covers the full construction cycle; not only does it showcase products across dedicated sectors, it also runs alongside nine specialised events enabling industry professionals to source building solutions from around the globe for every stage of the construction projects: The Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, Windows, Doors & Facades Event, Gulf Glass, HVAC R Expo, The Big 5 Solar, Middle East Stone, the Urban Design & Landscape Expo, and FM Expo.

The event includes high-level summits, practical seminars, CPD-certified workshops, and The Big 5 Impact Awards to foster collaboration, support best practices, and provide effective solutions to today’s industry challenges.

The Big 5 is organised by dmg events and is free to attend for all pre-registered visitors. 


To know more, visit

About dmg events

dmg events is a leading organiser of face-to-face events and a publisher of trade magazines.

We aim to keep businesses informed and connect them with relevant communities to create vibrant marketplaces and to accelerate their business through face-to-face events.

dmg events organises more than 80 events across 25 countries, attracting over 425,000 attendees and delegates every year. The company’s portfolio of products includes many industry-leading events in the energy, construction, hospitality & design, coatings and transportation sectors. ADIPEC, The Big 5, Gastech, EGYPS, The Hotel Show and INDEX are the company’s flagship events. For more information visit

About DMGT

DMGT manages a portfolio of companies that provide businesses and consumers with compelling information, analysis, insight, events, news and entertainment. The Group takes a long-term approach to investment and has market-leading positions in consumer media, insurance risk, property information, education technology, energy information and events & exhibitions. In total, DMGT generates revenues of around £1 billion.