• The Big 5’s Gaia Awards complement Dubai’s efforts to become a sustainable city, according to experts
  • Surge in green construction products at The Big 5 this year confirms MENA’s sustainability surge 

On its third day, Middle East’s largest exhibition for the construction industry, The Big 5, has put sustainability in the spotlight. The 10th edition of the Gaia Awards, The Big 5 award for green built environment solutions, has elected Hidrostank as the most sustainable product of the year. Selected by a judging panel of industry experts chaired by Anwaar Al Shimmari, Director at the Design Department of the UAE Ministry of Infrastructure Development, the Spanish manufacturer was awarded the prestigious prize among over 100 competing products.

Receiving the award, Hidrostank’s Commercial Director, Juan Gazpio Irujo, said: “20 years ago we bet on a much more sustainable world. Our challenge was to change the mindset of traditional contractors with a sustainable alternative to concrete manholes, so we are really proud of being recognized today by such an important jury.” Hidrostank modular manholes can be installed by a single man in very little time compared to concrete access chambers; they do not need a crane for transport and handling, thus saving money and resources. Moreover, being made of recycled polypropylene, Hidrostank is environmentally friendly and recyclable.

Josine Heijmans, Portfolio Event Director of The Big 5, said: “Creating and maintaining a sustainable environment and infrastructure is a pillar of the UAE National Agenda and Vision 2021. For the past ten years, The Big 5’s Gaia Awards have supported green products for the built environment in the Middle East in line with the UAE Vision 2021, offering a dedicated stage for both exhibitors and non-exhibitors to promote their sustainable solutions in the region.”

Ali Jassim, CEO of Etihad Energy Services and member of the Gaia Awards judging panel, confirmed: “The GAIA awards complement all efforts in making Dubai one of the most sustainable cities in the World.”

Also, Alain Garnier, Manager Sales and Business Development of SageGlass, winner of the 2016 Gaia Awards, commented: “Sustainability is high on the agenda in the UAE and the Middle East; it’s not just sustainable products and sustainable buildings: it’s sustainable development. The Gaia Awards fitted completely in our strategy last year. We were new with this solution in the market so receiving the Gaia Awards was great to get us more visibility. Since last year we got a lot of new contracts and very big ones.”

With new green building rating systems and regulations coming into play in the region, sustainability is in focus across the whole of The Big 5 exhibition this year. At the dedicated Sustainability Talks’ theatre, 12 free to attend and CPD-certified educational sessions offer visitors insights on a variety of topics, from LEED certification to Future Transport Trends and City Planning, featuring renowned experts of the likes of William Whistler, Managing Director of Green Building Solutions International, and Michel Francis, Chief Architect at DEC Consultants.

UAE’s first environmentally green ductwork has been also launched at The Big 5 2017 by Khansaheb, a leading UAE based construction and facilities management company. Spiralite, an Energy-Efficient Ductwork system, offers up to 40% energy savings in HVAC systems, reducing the carbon footprint of any domestic, commercial or industrial building. Abdulrahman A Khansaheb, Khansaheb Industries, commented: “At Khansaheb we are committed to supporting the UAE’s efforts in pioneering innovation whilst also building the future of the industry by implementing new technologies to help create a sustainable environment that benefits future generations.

From France, Atlantic International showcased the all-new Calypso VM, which supplies hot water in an energy-saving manner. According to the exhibitor, the heater provides reduced power consumption by 75% compared with traditional electric water heaters and ensures a rapid and abundant production of sanitary hot water.

UK based Biotecture BioWall attracted crowds of visitors at its stand, showcasing its modular green wall hydroponic system. Providing a high level of sustainability thanks to its intelligent water management, Biotecture BioWall offers a wide range of solutions for both indoor and outdoor spaces. “The product is successful in the region; we had to prove that it would work outdoors in the UAE, as temperatures are hot and different from the UK: we spent two summers just experimenting the plants, checking which species would work. Today, we have forty projects here in the UAE, all of which are successful,” said Richard Sabin, Managing Director of Biotecure.

Karl Radwan, export sales manager at Bond It, is positive about the future of the market and the company’s participation at The Big 5: “The region remains a key market for us, driving the demand for our products due to their technical innovation and impressive levels of performance. The Big 5 Dubai is an important exhibition for Bond It, which enables us to develop relationships with both new and existing customers in the Middle East.”

Visiting The Big 5 for the first time, Touseef Ahmed, Project Manager at iGreen Italian landscaping, commented: “I visited the show to source sustainable landscaping products such as green roofs and hydro culture. I’ve met many potential suppliers not only from the region but internationally. I am very impressed with the quality of exhibitors and I will be back again for the next couple of days!”

The Big 5 2017 runs until November 29 at The Dubai World Trade Centre, in co-location with The Big 5 Solar, a new platform pursuing the escalating green demands in the GCC market by showcasing the latest solar technologies. Organised by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, and under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Infrastructure Development, The Big 5 is Middle East’s largest construction event, hosting over 2,500 exhibitors from 64 countries this year.

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Elisha Dessurne Public Relations Executive, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa
Jessica Scopacasa Public Relations Manager, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa
Elisha Dessurne Public Relations Executive, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa
Jessica Scopacasa Public Relations Manager, dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa
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. 


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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.