13 Sept 2021, Gulf News – gulfnews.com
After COVID-19 break, 1,200 exhibitors turn out this year
The Big 5, the region’s biggest construction industry event, has opened in Dubai after a one-year hiatus brought on by the pandemic. The in-person event also signifies the launch of Dubai’s full-on 2021-22 MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences, exhibitions) season.
Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum opened the 42nd edition of the construction trade show.
The local real estate sector is getting ready to pick up on new projects, after mostly giving it a miss in 2019 and 2021, with a slowing market and COVID-19 being the reasons. There is market talk of big-ticket project awards awarded or about to for the next set of real estate that will keep the cities and its contractors busy. Therefore, contractors are ready to move on from their current project portfolio, much of which has reached fairly advanced stages.
However, before they sign the next set of contracts, there will be some hard bargaining. Building staples and material prices have been hitting new highs in these 12 months, and no one right now is able to give a firm reading on when these could start sliding back to normal.
Between government-sponsored projects and new real estate contracts, the UAE’s construction sector will have enough on their schedules by middle next year. It could also be a good time to think about ‘public-private partnerships’, which could spark the next stage of growth for the UAE construction industry. But for the moment, watch out for those prices of steel, cement and all other bare essentials.
The event offers 70 free-to-attend CPD certified talks delivered by 150 global speakers and covering critical topics such as Digital Twins, AI, Sustainability and Project management, presenting a unique opportunity for visitors to stay up to date on trends in the sector.