The Big 5 2017 has been a huge success, with participants from literally every corner of the globe, outstanding speakers, high-level summits, networking and business deals worth millions of dollars. Here’s a small selection of the 10 most memorable moments from the 38th edition of the event!

1. A Grand Opening with H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​ ​

Let’s start from the very beginning: Middle East’s largest construction event was officially inaugurated by His Highness Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum on November 26. The President of the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, CEO and Chairman of the Emirates Group opened the four-days packed event with conferences, seminars, networking sessions, live features and business matchmaking across an exhibition floor that covered the entire Dubai World Trade Centre area.

2. Dubai Expo 2020’s announcement

Few hours after the opening, Expo 2020 Dubai’s Vice President of Real Estate, Ahmed Al Khatib, chose the stage of The Big 5’s Excellence in Construction Summit to announce the award of the contract to build the steel structure for the Al Wasl Plaza, the centerpiece of the mega event. The winner of the bid, the Abu Dhabi-based Cimolai Rimond Middle East, will build a 67 meter high domed trellis designed by US architects Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture, reflecting “Dubai’s role in connecting east with west and as a place for bringing people together for Expo 2020,” said Mr. Al Khatib. “We are very proud of Al Wasl Plaza because it symbolizes what we want to achieve at the Expo.”

3. The future of mobility unveiled

On November 26, the Big 5’s high level conference also hosted the Chairman and Co-founder of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, Bibop G. Gresta, who presented to a fascinated public the transportation system that will revolutionize the way we travel. “Hyperloop is now in the implementation and commercialization phase,” Gresta announced at The Excellence in Construction Summit. “There are several countries we signed a deal with, and one of them is Abu Dhabi. Here, we just finished the biggest feasibility study that humanity has ever done in a Hyperloop system and we are ready to implement it.” Are you ready to travel from Abu Dhabi to Al Ain in 15 minutes?

4. The Ministry of Infrastructure Development

Day One also saw the Undersecretary of the UAE Ministry of Infrastructure Development, H.E. Eng. Hassan Jumaa Al-Mansoori, inaugurating the first edition of "The Big 5 Innovation Precast Summit", a two-day-long event supported by the Ministry of Infrastructure Development, the Sheikh Zayed Housing Program and the Federal Transport Authority - Land and Maritime (FTA). Talking to hundreds of delegates, Al-Mansoori praised The Big 5 exhibition, as it “serves as a unique chance for those interested in the construction sector to enhance their access to the world's best practices in the field by meeting leaders, decision-makers and leading countries."

5. Cooling in focus

USD 1.5 billion is the total estimated HVAC spend on construction projects in Dubai. With this value expected to further grow in the coming years, The Big 5 2017 hosted over 230 companies in a dedicated HVACR Hall showcasing innovative, energy saving and sustainable solutions to cool the hot Middle Eastern built environment. Moreover, on November 28, the HVACR Day at The Big 5 celebrated the increasing relevance of efficient HVAC Systems, with educational talks on latest trends and best practices in heating, ventilation and cooling.

6. Spotlight on sustainability

Advocating a green revolution in the construction sector, for the 10th consecutive year The Big 5 awarded the most sustainable product in the MENA Region. The winner of the 2017 Gaia Awards, Hidrostank, was selected by a panel of experts among over a hundred competing products. Receiving the award on November 28, 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.

7. Business success across 5 product sectors

Companies from across the globe have met new potential customers and distributors in a four-day-event marked by business deals and partnership agreements. “We are impressed by the number of contacts we have collected and by the great interest they all have shown in our products,” said exhibitor Angelo Aloia from Advanced Global Solution AGS SPA. Split across 5 dedicated product sectors, exhibitors were able to meet with the right visitors: “Dividing [The Big 5] by product sectors gives to the show a great attractivity bringing more interesting visitors directly to our booth. This was the smartest move to make and gives [us] the will to come back!” commented Thomas Mendler from ISPO France.

8. 6,000+ get free and certified education

6,184 attendees participated to the over 70 complimentary and CPD (Continuing Professional Development) certified Big 5 Talks in 2017. Clustered around six major themes (MEP, Sustainability, Architecture, Technology, Business and Project Management), the educational sessions were presented by renowned experts who shared best practices and latest developments addressing the industry’s most relevant topics. ​ “I wait for The Big 5 every year. You can learn a lot [at The Big 5] and you will get all the data that you need in a couple of days,” said Bassel Omara, Senior Design Architect & BIM Manager Dorsch Holding GmbH - DC Abu Dhabi after an educational session.

9. Side by side with Solar

In the UAE, the rooftop solar output has grown from 6MW in 2016 to 70MW at the end of 2017; some of the world’s largest solar parks are also under development in the MENA region, and BIPV is showing an immense potential in the Gulf. With these premises, the launch edition of The Big 5’s co-located Big 5 Solar event, under the patronage of the UAE Ministry of Energy, could not but be a great success in terms of both participants and business opportunities. Deals worth over USD 70 million have been signed onsite by one single exhibitor, underpinning a bright future for both the solar industry and The Big 5 Solar exhibition in the coming years.

10. Hitting a record with international participants

With over 2,600 companies from 64 countries, The Big 5 hit a new record in terms of international participation in 2017. Among the top exhibiting countries, the strong presence of Italy, with almost 350 brands, Turkey with more than 240 companies and the over 140 German companies definitely deserve a mention. Visiting the show, the project manager of iGreen Italian Landscaping, Touseef Ahmed, confirmed: “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.” Will you be there, at The Big 5 2018?

The Big 5 returns from 26 to 29 November 2018 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. The 39th edition of the leading construction event in the MENA region will host thousands of exhibitors from around the world, high level conferences and free to attend certified educational sessions. The show will be co-located with the second edition of The Big 5 Solar, and the new HVAC-R Expo and Urban Design & Landscaping Expo.

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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.