- November 25, 2009:
The region’s most influential industry leaders in the building and construction industry gathered together for The Big 5’s two-day Conference to discuss some of today’s key issues for the industry and to look forward to the future. The region’s first Developer and Contractor Cost Index was also announced.
Held in conjunction with Proleads, the conference brought together key international industry executives to discuss the future of the construction industry. Day one saw the start of the Business Conference, which looked at the overall vision for the industry and the challenges it is still facing after a tough year. Speakers included Simon Azam, CEO Canterra, who chaired the conference, Ziad Makhzoumi, CFO Arabtec Holding and Euan Mcewan, Group CEO Currie and Brown.
A number of key messages and themes emerged, including the fact that access to finance remains an issue, and that proper planning and proper diligence is essential. It is also vital for the industry as a whole to keep abreast of the wider macro economic situation - companies who did so had been able to ride out the economic downturn of the last year because they had been prepared for it. There was a general feeling that the next 18 months will be difficult, but that there are positive signs in the UAE, and people believe that the Middle East remains the place to be, as prospects are better here than anywhere else in the world.
The focus for day two was on technology, and was designed specifically for engineering professionals. Speakers covered a range of topics, including sustainability and green environmental engineering, energy saving solutions and district cooling and project management. In addition, the region’s first Developer and Contractor Cost Index was announced by Proleads, which will be based on actual market prices.
Paula Al Chami, Event Director The Big 5 said, “The conference provided much food for thought. The Middle East remains a key player in the global construction industry, and there is a belief that there are still more prospects here than elsewhere in the world. This has been evidenced at the Big 5 Exhibition, which is bigger than ever before.”
Emil Rademeyer, Director Proleads, added, “The Big 5 conference provided a much needed forum to address the key issues for the vertical supply chain, from the developer, through to construction companies, contractors and suppliers. We had an impressive line up of speakers from across the world, and I know that participants found their insight invaluable.”