Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, at the exhibition. Image Credit: WAM

As part of their strategic moves in post-pandemic recovery, leading UAE and international raw material suppliers plan on shifting their focus to provide tailor-made resources to manufacturing and heavy industries in the construction sector in 2023. Moreover, many companies are now actively developing products to help companies and countries achieve their sustainability goals.

Even heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industries are focusing on providing products to alternate sectors, such as education and healthcare, industry leaders at the 43rd edition of the Big5 show told Gulf News.

Big5, one of the most significant construction events in the region, got on to a booming start Monday morning as over 2,000 participants from over 60 countries presented their products and services at the show. Sheikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Media Council, inaugurated the event.

The expo features six specialised events addressing the entire sector eco-system - Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, HVAC R Expo, Middle East Stone, Urban Design and Landscape Expo, and FM Expo.

Big5 exhibition opens in Dubai.

Shifting industry focus

Companies and industry leaders are reporting a shift in focus into different sectors as part of their pandemic recovery strategies.

Mohammed Al Afari, Senior Vice President - Marketing at Emirates Steel Arkan, said: “UAE is shifting its focus on industry, not construction. UAE strategic plans also involve income diversification, which we are also looking at. And that is why we plan to introduce a new product – hot-rolled coil (HRC) – used in the manufacturing and industrial sectors.”

“We are talking about different industries, from car manufacturing to home appliances. We are trying to move away from traditional sectors as well.”

“We have experienced a good recovery from the pandemic. If we look at global steel consumption, it has increased by around 2.3 per cent. In 2022, there was a slight decline of 2 per cent. We are expecting another increase next year. We are also keenly considering increasing our supplies to the local market,” he added.

He said UAE currently consumes about 2.4 million tonnes of steel per annum. “We expect incremental growth on a year-on-year basis because there are many projects in the pipeline,” Al Afari stated.

Diversification in HVAC and cooling industries

Companies in the cooling and HVAC industries, one of the major participants at Big5, are also diversifying their business portfolios so companies can meet their sustainability goals.

Stephan Schumann, Marketing Director, Marketing and Sales at Bock, a leading German developer of compressors for industrial refrigeration, said: “In Europe especially, the legislation demands that products be used to reduce the potential for global warming. There is a clear strategy to move in that direction from the European Union. On top of that, the ongoing energy crisis in Europe is also driving people to look for efficient solutions,” Schumann said, “We are noticing a similar trend from our buyers in the region as well.”

Meanwhile, Carrier Middle East unveiled its latest invention – an air purifying solution that’s sold more than 60,000 units in the US. “Post-pandemic, the product has become very popular in schools and healthcare sectors in the US,” said Sathya Moorthi, Managing Director - Middle East, Carrier Middle East. He said: “While in many other economies these are managed through regulations, in this region, consumers want energy-efficient and sustainable products.”