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  • GCC and the wider Middle East were recognised for standout construction opportunities based on responses from nearly 6,000 global industry professionals from 136 countries
  • Research revealed today during the inaugural CEO Forum at The Big 5
  • The 40th edition of the construction event takes place from 25 – 28 November at the Dubai World Trade Centre

The Middle East and Africa’s largest construction event, The Big 5, which takes place from 25 – 28 November, has officially revealed a first of its kind research paper, The Voice of the Construction Industry Report, during the CEO Forum on its opening day.

The report is based on research conducted by GRS Research & Strategy Middle East, in conjunction with The Big 5. A total of 5,951 senior construction industry professionals were surveyed from136 countries on the trends and outlook of the construction sector in the GCC, Middle East and Africa. 

Ben Greenish, Senior Vice President of dmg events said: “Thanks to the size, strength and history of The Big 5, we not only deliver a world-class trade event, we are also a trusted source of insight and intelligence for the construction industry.  This new research from a huge cross section of senior construction professionals underscores our reputation as a source of knowledge, and helps global industry stakeholders generate revenues, save money, and shape future strategies.”

“The responses come from professionals in sectors including manufacturing and distribution through to developers, contractors, engineers, architects and consultants,  with each being segmented by business type, seniority, geographic location, and company turnover, allowing for a detailed analysis of the issues influencing each sector and how they are shaping the industry,” added Greenish.

The research revealed that the GCC and the wider Middle East were the standout opportunities recognised by respondents not already active in those regions when considering where their business may look for opportunities in the future. 

Of the GCC countries, respondents felt there were the most opportunities to be found in the United Arab Emirates (56%) followed by Saudi Arabia (44.4%). In line with these findings, 36% of those interviewed said their business would enter the UAE within the next 12 months either directly or via a joint venture.

According to Andrea Piccin, Partner - General Manager, GRS Research & Strategy, the findings represent good news for the UAE and the wider Middle East region: “Economic growth is seen as a key factor generating business opportunities in the GCC. This is undoubtedly piquing the interest of international companies, which are now looking to expand in the Middle East for the first time.”

“Also, the increase in tourism, particularly in the UAE, is a major driver for business growth and one that many construction companies have already capitalised upon,” he added.

As part of the research, the top trends impacting all aspects of the construction industry were addressed with respondents stating prefabrication and modular construction, energy efficiency, and sustainability are the most important.

“These trends reflect the UAE and Saudi governments’ recent focus on the development of smart and sustainable cities. According to the results, it is anticipated during the next 12 months governments from these two countries will place even greater emphasis in these key areas providing an additional boost for the industry,” added Piccin.

Technology and the impact it has on the construction industry is also outlined within the data. Advanced software, building information modeling (BIM), and digitalisation are identified as the top three disrupters of the sector. These are closely followed by the Internet of Things (IoT) and smart technology, and 3D printing. 

The Voice of the Construction Industry Report was unveiled at The Big 5’s invite-only CEO Forum, a conference for 150 CEOs from the region’s leading construction firms, which took place at The Big 5’s opening day.

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