Construction Week Newsletter 27th November 2004

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By  Eudore Chand Published  November 27, 2004

Editorial Leader|~||~||~|

Onwards and upward

The sign of a good show is that whatever the circumstances, it marches on and succeeds in achieving its objectives. And that is precisely what the Big 5 show did last week at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre. There is no denying the fact that the exhibition was held under some trying conditions, a situation out of the control of the organisers, dmg world media Dubai Ltd. The organisers were happy having sold all the space available by March. All they needed from that point on was to ensure that all their energies were focused on delivering the package the show represents, getting exhibitors and visitors to show up. All they needed was a clear run up. But it was not to be. For the critical 18 days leading up to the show, there was an effective holiday at government departments. This should have been a serious challenge for the organisers. However, Dubai’s customs authorities and advanced planning made sure that men and materials were here on time. There were a couple of vacant booths at the Big 5 show, but these belonged to UAE firms, and not to overseas exhibitors. Turnout was helped by the Eid holidays, with many a regional visitor just extending his stay to get business from the Big 5. When the show opened, it was on a somber note to respect the passing of the UAE’s President. Before the show opened, the organisers had said that, this year, there were 1600 exhibitor stands, up from 1300 last year. They said that this year 2100 (up from 1700 last year) companies were represented from 50 countries. The organisers said they projected a visitor footfall of 30 000 this year against the 27 000 of last year. In terms of space, it certainly has been the largest ever show, squeezing all available space out of the Dubai World Trade Centre complex that combines the Dubai International Exhibitions Centre with its eight exhibition halls; and the Dubai International Convention Centre with its Sheikh Rashid auditorium and concourse. Even the Multaqa Ballroom was pressed into service. And, judging by the response of the visitors, it appeared that organisers may have made true their claims. Anwar Abdul Rahman, a visitor, said: “I’ve not been at Big 5 for six years, but I have to take my hat off to Dubai. It has grown from three halls to fill the complex. I don’t think there’s an event bigger than this one in the Middle East. It’s well organised, the general layout is excellent and I have no doubt that there will be some very big deals here.” North African Emad Eltohamy, said: “A show like this, with people from all over the world, is great value for Dubai. It’s indicative of just how well the construction industry is doing here.” Bob Hughes of dmg world media Dubai Ltd said, “The feedback we have received from show attendees and exhibitors has been very positive. Deals have taken place and many new contacts have been acquired. The success of the show grows each year and we are extremely proud that Big 5 provides a vital cog in the phenomenal growth of construction in this region.” That is a statement that is easily believable. The Big 5 is the regional construction industry’s best showcase and its maturity is evident from the way it comes through good times and bad.||**||

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