From 4-7 December 2023, 16 French companies specializing in the construction and building-finishing sector will showcase their innovative products and services at the Big 5 show. This major event in the construction sector, coinciding with the COP 28 UAE, presents an opportunity for French industry leaders specialized in digital transformation, MEP, building materials, sustainability, and contracting to all gather under the ‘French Fab’ banner. French companies will share their expertise to shape the future and forward-thinking practices within the construction sector.
France Pavilion: Diving into the Heart of French Know-how
The upcoming Big 5 Global exhibition presents a crucial opportunity for forging business, serving as an ideal platform to engage with international buyers, specifiers, suppliers, manufacturers, and more within a specific industry. Committed to fostering networks, driving innovation, and pursuing both net-zero and digital excellence, it aligns with the broader goals of sustainable development. Joining the ranks of key players in the French construction industry, including Freyssinet Gulf (a subsidiary of Vinci Construction), VSL, Soletanche-Bachy, Bureau Veritas, Lafarge, Saint-Gobain, already successfully established in the UAE and the Gulf region, this exhibition addresses the evolving challenges of building sustainable cities in the region.
“The French construction and building-finishing industry is poised to establish strategic alliances in the region”
The 16 French exhibitors at the French Pavilion will present new materials, products and solutions for facility management, smart building, urban planning & landscaping and eco-construction: robotic handling systems; simplified access management fully accessible from a smartphone; eco-friendly nano-coatings and paints; innovative, solar-lit security fences; wood-framed houses; technologies and services dedicated to ultra-high-performance concrete; revolutionary fastening system for terraces, coverings and ceilings; and a manufacturer of pure natural hydraulic lime for the restoration and conservation of built heritage and an OC1 single-layer coating for waterproofing and decoration of new external vertical façades and certified ‘Entreprise du Patrimoine Vivant’ (Living Heritage Company), recognition of exceptional know-how. The economic development of the United Arab Emirates, which relies heavily on tourism, currently accounts for 13% to 14% of GDP. The new strategy put in place by the government to increase health, sports, adventure, and sustainable development tourism should enable the sector to reach 18% of GDP by 2031 and have a positive impact on the construction sector.
The building market is a heavyweight for the French and European economies
Axel Baroux, French Trade & Invest Commissioner, stated, “The French construction and building-finishing industry is poised to establish strategic alliances in the region. The partnership between France and the United Arab Emirates, founded on a mutual commitment to prioritizing sustainable construction practices and carbon emission reduction, finds unity in the shared vision outlined at COP 28. This collaborative effort aspires to deliver groundbreaking solutions to global construction challenges, aligning seamlessly with Dubai’s visionary ‘Urban Master Plan 2040’ unveiled in March 2021 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and sovereign of Dubai. This exemplifies the convergence of shared values and objectives in the pursuit of sustainable urban development.”
During his visit to France in September 2023, Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, Emirati Minister of Economy said that, “The economic policies adopted by the United Arab Emirates over the last three years have created a solid and fertile environment for the growth of large French companies, allowing them to access new markets. Bilateral trade with France is already worth around eight billion USD per year. We want to reach $15 to $20 billion of trade per year with France. We look forward to it.”
“Egypt represents also a significant growth opportunity for French companies, particularly within the context of megaprojects spearheaded by the Egyptian government as part of its transformative ‘Egypt Vision 2030’. This dynamic landscape offers a fertile ground for collaboration and innovation, fostering mutually beneficial partnerships between French enterprises and Egypt’s ambitious development agenda,” added Baroux.
French Construction Sector and the National Strategy
The building market is a heavyweight for the French and European economies. France is the European leader in construction, driven by Vinci, VSL a member of Bouygues Construction, Soletanche Bachy, and Eiffage. The French offer is highly diversified, capable of mobilizing many skills over the long term, from structural work to finishing work. The sector has 394,000 companies and recorded historic revenue of €149 bn in 2022.
Two years ago, President Emmanuel Macron unveiled the €54 billion France 2030 investment plan deployed over five years, which aims to develop industrial competitiveness and massively invest in future technologies or support the ecological transition.
In this context, the €675 million national strategy ‘Solutions for Sustainable Cities and Innovative Buildings’, launched in 2021 by former Prime Minister Jean Castex, is part of the ‘Living in the France of Tomorrow’ approach designed to boost sustainable housing construction in the regions. This structural transformation is based on the Climate-Resilience Bill, which aims to strengthen France’s position on the path to combating climate change.
The Green Solutions Awards 2022-2023
Construction21, the media dedicated to building and sustainable cities, in collaboration with Business France and La French Fab, the flagship of French industry in motion, will organize a networking cocktail event on Tuesday 5 December 2023 as part of its international event ‘The Green Solutions Awards’, 2022-2023 edition, which will take place in Dubai on the margins of COP 28. Forty-two buildings, 10 neighborhoods and 12 infrastructures will compete to win one of the many awards (Hot Climates, Grand Prix Urban Renewal, Low-Tech, Health & Comfort, etc.), offering the opportunity to demonstrate to the world that sustainable, affordable and reproducible solutions exist. More than 50 institutional players, members of delegations, as well as professionals, journalists, and judges present at COP 28, will be welcomed during the award ceremony. This international ceremony will be broadcast live. For those who cannot be present in person, real-time retransmission will be available on the Construction21 website from 6.00 pm UAE time!
The France Pavilion is operated by Business France in partnership with Terracotta, which provides manpower services in the United Arab Emirates, Construction 21, the sustainable building and city media, and with the support of Air France