Covering the themes of design, cladding techniques, natural stone, the CPD-accredited seminar series offers a vision for the future of hardscaping in the region

For the first time, Middle East Stone, the region’s premier event for natural stone, marble, granite, design & technology, runs alongside The Big 5 this year. In its 5th edition, the largest annual trade exhibition in the Middle East and North Africa dedicated to the stone industry will feature a broad educational agenda under the Stone Design Seminars.

Covering themes of design trends, emerging technologies, natural stones and sustainability, and some prominent case studies from within the GCC and worldwide, the 20 free-to-attend CPD-certified seminars are framed under the proficiency and guidance of the industry specialists aiming to educate those under the stone and surface portfolio. 

Portfolio Director – dmg events, Josine Heijmans said:

“The increase in the significance of hardscaping has opened up a great space for natural hard elements to be utilised in modern landscape creations in the region. As a consequence, the use of stone in the architectural design for many active projects continues to intensify with urban construction development driving the growth in the overall demand for stone in GCC. The introduction of the Stone Design Seminars alongside the Middle East Stone exhibition will unveil the latest industry trends and best practices throughout the four days of the show.”

The Natural Stone Institute (NSI) will be taking part in the education agenda with stone master Charles Muehlbauer, who is the NSI Technical Director, delivering masterclasses on a variety of industry topics, spanning from best practices and techniques in stone exterior wall cladding, to understanding ASTM Standards & stone testing for projects, as well as a panel discussion on designing the future.

The Stone Design Seminars will also host key speaker Drue Newcomb, Director of P&T Architects & Engineers Ltd, who will present a case study on deconstructing stone. According to Newcomb, with a renewed emphasis on regional stone use, the limited availability of current stones is expected to incentivise the production of new composite stone materials, improve veneer technologies, or even boost the use of nontraditional stone materials, which are sourced regionally.

“With the current focus on sustainability, we will see more stones being sourced regionally to reduce the cost of transportation. Instead of being a constraint, this is a potential incentive to look at vernacular regional architecture and reinterpret it in a modern way,” he added.


Sustainability in stone choice will be another key principle discussed during the seminar sessions. Lee Nellis, Managing Partner, XBD Architecture, revealed ahead of the event: “The word ‘natural’ should be emphasised here. Today, most designers are looking for a connection to the natural world when selecting materials, and stone offers that. However, we also have to be careful to ensure that the stone is coming from a sustainable source and not exploited from a certain region. People are now looking at engineered stone as a viable option.”


Other key speakers featured during the Stone Design Seminars include Mohamed Kader, Business Development, Egymar International; Abdoullah Albizreh, Director, Depa; Neil Serridge, Senior Associate Director, Benoy; Mary Elias, Managing Director, Korus International; Daniel Wood, Stone Material Consultant, Lurvey; and Benjamin Beer, Head of Facades, Ramboll, to name a few.


Organised by dmg events, Middle East Stone will run from 25 - 28 November 2019 at the Dubai World Trade Centre as part of The Big 5, the Middle East’s largest construction show, and co-located with the HVACR Expo, The Big 5 Solar, Middle East Concrete, Urban Design & Landscape Expo and The Big 5 Heavy.

Middle East Stone provides the full range of products and solutions from the stone, marble and granite world for interior designers, interior and landscape architects, façade consultants, fit-out contractors, real estate developers, installers and distributors, among others. Attendees can find new products and technologies from 400+ local and international exhibitors, including country representation from Brazil, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Turkey, and Egypt.

The event is supported by the Natural Stone Institute, Associazione Italiana Marmomacchine, and Enterprise Greece.

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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.