One of the most important and anticipated construction events in the Middle East, the Big 5 Saudi 2019 is expected to attract over 14,000 visitors, who will have the opportunity to speak to in excess of 300 manufacturers of construction products from all over the world.
A perfect platform for construction industry professionals to network, obtain qualified leads, and close business deals, the Big 5 Saudi exhibition also focuses on the most up-to-date innovations across nine dedicated product sectors, as well as offering 80 ‘Continuing Professional Development’ workshops.
More than 5200 construction projects are currently underway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), with a value of approximately $819 billion. This accounts for around 35% of all active projects across the GCC region. And continued diversification of the KSA’s projects means that an expanded offering of building solutions is called for too, with Big 5 exhibitors looking to fill some of those gaps.
For although there have been a number of recent challenges right the way through the industry, fuelled by low oil prices and a shortage of qualified workers, construction will record a 4.1% increase this year in the KSA. In addition, a recent BMI research report predicts that the sector’s annual average growth rate will reach 6.13% from 2018 to 2022.
Roni El Haddad, Event Director of the Big 5, explained: “The construction sector’s immediate outlook is extremely promising. The recent launch of the Public Investment Fund backed the multi-billion dollar Amaala resort in September 2018, along with the already announced NEOM and Red Sea Project, in what is already being dubbed the ‘Riviera of the Middle East’, is a proof of that.
“Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030, along with significant investment in housing and infrastructure development promoted across the country by local authorities, is revitalising the construction industry and generating interest in a growing number of international players.”
The largest contributor to the construction sector’s expansion is urban projects, with 3272 active projects, adding up to a total value of $386.4 billion. It is believed that the utilities sector is the second largest, with 733 projects worth $95.6 billion, followed by transportation, with 500 projects valued at $156.2 billion.
Major construction projects include the King Abdullah Security Compounds (Phase 5) and the Grand Mosque (Holy Haram Mosque expansion), each valued at $21.3 billion and developed by the Ministry of Municipalities and Rural Affairs in Makkah.
Staying in Makkah, a $1.7 billion hotel, the Makkah Residence Development (Phase 2) is expected to open its doors by the end of 2019, offering 3000 five-star rooms, with Vision 2030 planning to attract 36 million pilgrims a year to the KSA’s holy places.
In Riyadh, $3.5 billion mixed-use development project known as ‘The Avenues – Al Malqa’ is scheduled for completion by 2020, covering an area of 1.7 million square meters. In the meantime, due to open in 2022, the Mall of Saudi – An Narjisp, is valued at $3.2 billion. The Saudi Arabia National Guard is also building 6000 villas over 7 million square meters with a $1.3 billion investment.
Over in Jeddah, the new Jeddah Downtown (Phase 1), a mega urban development project worth $2 billion, will give a face-lift to the Corniche area with 12,000 new housing units by the end of 2022.
Then there is the mega project planned in Tabuk, NEOM, a 26,500m2 city, which, along with thousands of other construction projects across the KSA, is pushing the demand for more innovation.
New Products, New Solutions
There is no doubt that the ongoing diversification of Saudi Arabia’s construction portfolio, covering everything from smart cities to entertainment and hospitality to parks, demands a wide range of new building solutions and equipment. The Big 5 reflects this need, with a broad array of new products and solutions on show.
Polypipe, for instance, the UK’s largest plastic pipe systems manufacturer, is a market leader in managing water in the built environment, with its engineered geocellular water management solution, Permavoid, having received two nominations at the Big Project ME Awards in Dubai in 2018, one of which was in the ‘Product Innovation’ category.
At the Big 5 exhibition, Polypipe will be presenting its geocellular interlocking system, designed for shallow water storage or infiltration. The system has an exceptionally high compressive and tensile strength, plus bending resistance with a unique patented tapered jointing system to create a horizontal structural ‘raft’ within the pavement. This is ideal for the shallow attenuation of surface water. The system can also be combined in layers using interlocking shear connectors to increase depth. This is particularly useful in designing infiltration systems, allowing flexibility in balancing the soil permeability.
Meanwhile, from Germany, Allgaier Process Technology has added a number of new products to its already extensive range, with the latest innovations being the MSizer compact and the MSizer giant, CD-Dryer, Tumble Dryer/Cooler TK-D, MSort NIR, GSort, and the company’s service app for screening machines, the Allgaier ProcessApp.
The Tumble Dryer/Cooler TK-D, for example, allows for the drying and cooling of solids down to especially low temperatures, all the way down to nearly the ambient or cooling air temperature. Through heat recovery in the drying process and evaporative cooling in the cooling process, the TK-D offers high efficiency and reduction in energy costs up to 20% compared to competitive products.
Other products on display at the Big 5 encompass bathroom and kitchen fittings, smart city resources, steel, and solar technology. The event also highlights concrete, PMV equipment, and material handling in an outdoor zone dedicated to heavy machinery and warehousing products.