Big 5 opens: Mega projects and market recovery entices industry

Updated 25 November 2013
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Big 5 opens: Mega projects and market recovery entices industry

Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, deputy ruler of Dubai, officially inaugurated The Big 5, Middle East Concrete and PMV Live 2013 at the Dubai World Trade Center.
With a history of more than 33 years in the region, the event has grown 10 percent this year, and brings together more than 2,500 exhibitors from 65 countries with an anticipated 60,000 construction industry professionals on site over the course of four days.
Professionals from the construction industry gather together to showcase and source new, innovative and sustainable products, see the latest trends, get an update on regulations impacting design and build, and identify new markets and business opportunities.
Opening alongside The Big 5 will be Middle East Concrete, the largest event for the concrete industry showcasing innovative concrete products, technical seminars and live product demonstrations, as well as PMV Live, an interactive event for the plant, machinery and vehicle industry highlighting the latest heavy vehicles and related equipment throughout the four day event.
Andy White, group event director for The Big 5 2013, said the event continues to grow with each edition and is still considered the region’s most important event for the building and construction industry.
“This year The Big 5 is once again giving architects, interior designers, contractors, developers and all other construction professionals, access to the full spectrum of products. Our educational program has also expanded this year giving our visitors access to hundreds of free seminars, workshops and regulatory updates,” he was quoted as saying in a press release received here.
As part of The Big 5, international and regional experts will be addressing industry issues such as sustainability and low energy emitting materials, project management in construction, building interior trends, façade design, fire safety and managing aging structural asset portfolios at over 100 free to attend seminars running throughout the event. Best in class studies will be presented during the Sustainable Design & Construction Conference including the LEED Platinum rated DEWA building and the futuristic White Sky iHouse.
Dubai Municipality will also be presenting on the update to its Green Building Codes, due to go live from January 1, at a free to attend seminar on the 25 November.
This year’s event also includes a new arena specifically dedicated to building interiors, bringing together a wide range of products and services catering to this sector of the industry.
The new arena provides a selective platform for this increasingly influential market segment, currently worth around $10 million within the GCC.
In addition to the new arena, the exhibition will be further broken down into product specific sectors, including HVAC, Coatings, Adhesives & Sealants, Kitchens & Bathrooms, Windows & Doors, Steel, Marble, Slate & Ceramics, Water Technology and General Construction. The show ends on Thursday.


Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

Updated 17 December 2018
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Mideast plays key role in Chinese export of armed drones, report says

  • China has exploited America’s selective drone export policy to become an increasingly influential player in meeting demand
  • The report is entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region”

BEIRUT: The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven largely by sales from China, has grown significantly in the past few years with an increasing number of countries and other parties using them in regional conflicts to lethal effects, a new report said Monday.
The report by the Royal United Services Institute, or RUSI, found that more and more Mideast countries have acquired armed drones, either by importing them, such as Jordan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, or by building them domestically like Israel, Iran and Turkey.
China has won sales in the Middle East and elsewhere by offering drones — otherwise known as UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles — at lower prices and without the political conditions attached by the United States.
The report , entitled “Armed Drones in the Middle East: Proliferation and Norms in the Region,” said that by capitalizing on the gap in the market over the past few years, Beijing has supplied armed drones to several countries that are not authorized to purchase them from the US, and at a dramatically cheaper price.
“China, a no-questions-asked exporter of drones, has played and is likely to continue playing a key role as a supplier of armed UAVs to the Middle East,” it said.
The report explored where and how each of the states have used their armed drones and whether they have changed the way these countries approach air power. It found that Iran, the UAE and Turkey all changed the way they employ airpower after they acquired armed drones.
For Turkey and the UAE, armed drones enabled them to conduct strikes in situations where they would not have risked using conventional aircraft, it said. Iran developed armed drones from the outset specifically to enable to project power beyond the reach of its air force, which is hamstrung by obsolete aircraft and sanctions, the report added.
The report said it remains to be seen whether and how the loosening of restrictions on the exportation of armed drones by the Trump administration will alter dynamics in the region.
“Nonetheless, proliferation in armed UAVs in the Middle East is unlikely to stop and could, in fact, even accelerate,” the report said.