The Big 5 is the largest construction exhibition in the Middle East, serving as a networking platform for construction product suppliers and buyers since 1979. For more than three decades The Big 5 has gone from strength to strength, to evolve into the largest, most influential and renowned portfolio of construction industry events spanning the Middle East, India and South East Asia. The Big 5 network now includes more than 300,000 suppliers and buyers of construction products from 120 countries worldwide. It is the most important exhibition in the region to meet existing as well as new customers and increase the presence in the Gulf region.
The 2016 edition of Big 5 exhibition covered an area of 1,29,000 sqm with 28 national pavilions and 2586 exhibitors. It witnessed a participation of 78,579 participation from 142 countries which, was higher by 6.8% compared to the 2015 edition of the Show.
The UAE’s economy is poised to start recovery from the current financial year – 2017-18 on the country’s strong balance sheet. The UAE has been more proactive in terms of economic diversification than other GCC states and is, therefore, expected to cope relatively well with a prolonged period of low oil prices and to be one of the Gulf’s best-performing economies in the coming years. The IMF said in a note recently that the growth of UAE’s non-oil sector is expected to increase above 4% in the medium term.
UAE also topped the list of countries in the Middle East and North Africa region Global Entrepreneurship Index Report 2016, and ranked 19th in the world ahead of countries such as Norway, South Korea, Turkey and Japan. According to the World Competitiveness Report 2016-17, the UAE is second only to Singapore in the Air Transport Infrastructure Quality index that measures the general level of infrastructure in airports and their compliance with international standards. The World Bank also recognized the UAE as one of the top 10 most improved business environments over the past year.
India is considered to be the UAE’s primary trade partner, accounting for about 9.8 per cent of its total non-oil trade. India is also the largest importer of goods from the UAE, buying about 14.9 per cent of that country’s exports and about 8.7 per cent of its re-exports, becoming the UAE’s second-largest market in the latter category. India ranks third among countries that export to the UAE, accounting for about 9.2 per cent of the total imports by the UAE. The total volume of foreign trade between the two countries amounted to $60 billion in 2014, making the UAE India’s primary trade partner in the Middle East and North Africa. Economic sources expect the value of trade exchanges between the UAE and India to hit $100 billion in 2020.