The heavy equip­ment in­dus­try gets its own Dubai show as op­ti­mism grows

Construction BusinessNews Middle East - - Contents -


The month of March sees the launch of a new event for those in­volved in the con­struc­tion and con­crete in­dus­try in the GCC called Big-5 Heavy. For years, the in­dus­try was in­vited to the twin PM6 ,ive and Mid­dle East Con­crete shows that were slot­ted along­side the peren­nial Big-5 show in Novem­ber, but the or­gan­is­ers dmg events felt that more could be done to ef­fec­tively cater to the needs of the con­crete, con­struc­tion, min­ing, and Quar­ry­ing ma­chin­ery in­dus­tries.

Not only have PM6 ,ive and Mid­dle East Con­crete been given their own plat­form, other sec­tions such as Foun­da­tions and Geotech­ni­cal, Min­ing and Quar­ry­ing, and Road Con­struc­tion have been fused into the event. Dmg events will be hop­ing that this heady rep­re­sen­ta­tion of the con­struc­tion and con­crete in­dus­try will be a (par­don the pun) big draw for the con­trac­tors, prop­erty de­vel­op­ers, lo­cal mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties, and gov­ern­ment au­thor­i­ties it hopes to at­tract to the event.

“Con­crete equip­ment, tower cranes, earth mov­ing ma­chines, drilling, and min­ing don’t tra­di­tion­ally sit within a build­ing ma­te­ri­als show like The Big-5 Heavy. There is a specilc need for a stand­alone heavy con­struc­tion ex­hi­bi­tion that caters to the Mid­dle East mar­ket,” says event di­rec­tor for The Big-5 Heavy, Richard Pavitt.

While the GCC mar­ket has been a chal­leng­ing en­vi­ron­ment for the con­struc­tion in­dus­try since the price of oil be­gan to fall at the end of 0 , there are promis­ing signs that the mar­ket could be be­gin­ning to re­cover. Re­cent re­search by an­a­lysts such as BNC Net­work and MEED have sug­gested that the to­tal num­ber of ac­tive projects in the re­gion could be val­ued at any­where be­tween - . tn.

Fur­ther­more, re­search by BNC Net­work on be­half of dmg events sug­gests there are nearly ,000 ac­tive projects un­der­way with the to­tal value of ten­der an­nounce­ments in­creas­ing sub­stan­tially in 2017 by 50.2%. The or­gan­is­ers be­lieve it sug­gests that the time is right for the Big-5 Heavy launch.

“The GCC in­fra­struc­ture ex­pan­sion con­tin­ues at a breath­less pace de­spite re­cent head­winds and The Big-5 Heavy is bring­ing all the ma­jor buy­ers and man­u­fac­tur­ers to­gether,” adds Pavitt.

While it is not un­usual for ex­hi­bi­tion or­gan­is­ers to feel pos­i­tive re­gard­ing a

mar­ket’s for­tunes, par­tic­u­larly when an event needs to be pro­moted, there are many ex­hibitors that share its out­look.

Nagham Al Zahlawi, strat­egy and mar­ket­ing man­ager at NFT Cranes, says that Expo 2020 and Dubai’s am­bi­tion to be a global hub will bring sig­nil­cant growth to the con­struc­tion sec­tor in the 5AE for the next few years. He does, how­ever, add that the big­gest chal­lenge for the glob­al­lyrecog­nised crane sup­plier is a cur­rent lack of liq­uid­ity in the mar­ket.

“Con­trac­tors are less will­ing to in­vest in tower cranes for long stretches and are fo­cus­ing on a project-topro­ject ba­sis,” he says. This tun­nel vi­sion is less risky but costlier and less efl­cient in the long run. Also, more ed­u­ca­tion is needed on the ad­van­tage of tower cranes ver­sus other prod­uct cat­e­gories as well as more fo­cus on Qual­ity over price.”

De­spite these chal­lenges and look­ing ahead, Al Zahlawi views fac­tors such as gov­ern­men­tal sup­port and vi­sion, tourism, and in­creas­ing pop­u­la­tion as well as im­prov­ing pol­icy and reg­u­la­tions as ma­jor growth driv­ers for the com­pany.

“We are op­ti­mistic about the fu­ture. The re­gion has so much more po­ten­tial to grow and is far from sat­u­ra­tion,” he says. “We ex­pect a larger need for high ca­pac­ity equip­ment like gi­ant tower cranes (60T and more) es­pe­cially for lu­flng and an in­creas­ing ap­pre­ci­a­tion for self-erect­ing ma­chines. We also an­tic­i­pate that there will be more reg­u­la­tions in con­struc­tion with stricter fo­cus on Qual­ity and safety.”

Fel­low ex­hibitor Wael Hasan, the Mid­dle East com­mer­cial man­ager at Rai­mondi Cranes, de­scribes the UAE’S “for­ward-tra­jec­tory as a na­tion” as a ma­jor growth driver for the KBW In­vest­ments-owned man­u­fac­turer. “The UAE sees in­no­va­tion as a prized char­ac­ter­is­tic in its pri­vate sec­tor and it cham­pi­ons pri­vate sec­tor val­ue­cre­ation,” he says. “This is one of the rea­sons that Rai­mondi has a Mid­dle East base of op­er­a­tions in Dubai; the eco­nomic cli­mate here is such that there re­ally is a murry of high Qual­ity devel­op­ment and growth po­ten­tial.”

He con­tin­ues: “The op­por­tu­ni­ties in the GCC con­struc­tion sec­tor for a com­pany like Rai­mondi Cranes are truly lim­it­less. We see only growth in the fu­ture, and a count­less num­ber of po­ten­tial part­ner­ships that are about to come to fruition. In terms of in­fra­struc­ture, it’s ex­cit­ing for us as a heavy ma­chin­ery com­pany.”

Echo­ing Al Zahlawi’s as­sess­ment of a lack of liq­uid­ity in the mar­ket, he says that @bud­get’ heavy lift­ing com­pa­nies are the big­gest chal­lenge not just for Rai­mondi, but for all “Qual­ity pre­miere” man­u­fac­tur­ers. “I’m sure our peers in the crane in­dus­try feel the same way,” he says. “Cus­tomers who are price-sen­si­tive may see short-term gain in opt­ing for a bud­get model, but noth­ing could be fur­ther from the truth.”

Franz Frei­herr von Red­witz, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, MAN Truck & Bus Mid­dle East, agrees that the mar­ket has been chal­leng­ing but the con­struc­tion in­dus­try should be cau­tiously op­ti­mistic in the UAE.

“The Expo 2020 prepa­ra­tions are help­ing to pro­vide more projects in Dubai es­pe­cially in the con­struc­tion sec­tor,” he re­marks be­fore adding that MAN is ex­cited by the po­ten­tial of the UAE mar­ket, es­pe­cially in the runup to Expo 2020 and a big­ger fo­cus on safer roads in the coun­try (MAN has re­cently worked along­side Dubai Po­lice to help im­prove road safety), as well as a change to a cleaner stan­dard in ve­hi­cles emis­sions.

“MAN has seen a pos­i­tive ex­pan­sion with re­gards to the Expo 2020 Dubai giv­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties to dif­fer­ent busi­nesses,” he says. “We are fully pre­pared for the in­tro­duc­tion of Euro - we have full range of ve­hi­cles avail­able in this emis­sion stan­dards.”

Ital­ian com­pany MB Crusher will be at the event af­ter con­tribut­ing its crush­ing and screen­ing buck­ets to in­fra­struc­ture projects across the GCC. “The Mid­dle East mar­ket is dy­namic and grows at a high speed,” says Na­jmed­dine Sahraoui. “There are many in­fra­struc­ture projects for the fu­ture where our ma­chines will be nec­es­sary MB at­tach­ments are the so­lu­tion to all those sce­nar­ios.”

Dee­wan Equip­ment Trad­ing will be demon­strat­ing its new con­crete print­ing tech­nol­ogy at the show. Eng Ghaith A Yaseen, man­ag­ing part­ner, Dee­wan, says that it en­ables you to print any­thing you wish to print on a con­crete sur­face, “even your pic­ture!”

Ac­cord­ing to Eng Yaseen, the op­por­tu­ni­ties in the GCC are not lim­ited to Dubai.

“GCC states are the fastest de­vel­op­ing coun­tries in the world. They have placed time-based devel­op­ment plans in all sec­tors, in­clud­ing in­fra­struc­ture, hous­ing, en­vi­ron­ment, trans­porta­tion, tech­nol­ogy, and in­dus­try,” he re­marks.

“;You have= the 26,500sqkm NEOM city in Saudi Ara­bia; Expo 2020 Dubai; met­ros in var­i­ous cities; Mid­dle East rail; and ma­jor devel­op­ment projects an­nounced by oil and gas com­pa­nies are ma­jor op­por­tu­ni­ties. The NEOM project will be backed by more than $500bn from the Saudi gov­ern­ment, its sov­er­eign wealth fund, lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional in­vestors.”

Fran­cois Saab, gen­eral man­ager at lift spe­cial­ists Carl­stahl, warns that growth in the mar­ket is be­ing re­stricted as the GCC gov­ern­ments are tak­ing pre­cau­tion­ary mea­sures to cope with the volatil­ity of oil prices. He adds: “Re­cent bud­gets re­mect the GCC gov­ern­mentsg ef­forts to in­stil lscal dis­ci­pline and cut waste­ful ex­pen­di­tures.”

To cope with mar­ket re­quire­ments and de­mand, he ex­plains that Carl Stahl is fo­cus­ing on Qual­ity, re­duc­ing its ex­penses, and fol­low­ing more efl­cient strate­gies and tech­nolo­gies: “We are also con­tin­u­ously work­ing to de­velop and in­crease our range of prod­ucts and ser­vices,” he says.

Saab ar­gues that, de­spite the chal­lenges he has high­lighted, the fu­ture is look­ing good for the mar­ket in the re­gion.

“While the GCC con­tin­ues to de­velop and the UAE proves it­self as the best place to in­vest, work, and live in,” he says. “If we look at the con­struc­tion mar­ket in the re­cent past, the on­go­ing projects, the an­nounced events, and the am­bi­tious plans ahead, we have a solid in­di­ca­tion of the great po­ten­tial of this mar­ket in the fu­ture.”

One of the ma­jor names at the event will be Al Ba­har, which will en­sure a rare ex­hi­bi­tion out­ing for Cater­pil­lar’s ma­chines in the re­gion. The dis­trib­u­tor also rep­re­sents Trim­ble’s civil en­gi­neer­ing tech­nol­ogy via SITECH Gulf. An­drew Cald­well, re­gion man­ager, Trim­ble Civil En­gi­neer­ing and Con­struc­tion, says that look­ing be­yond Expo 2020 Dubai, the con­struc­tion mar­ket, es­pe­cially in its core in­fra­struc­ture and civil en­gi­neer­ing seg­ments, should re­main strong for many years ahead.

“There’s a long-term vi­sion and the plans for the UAE, in par­tic­u­lar, means there is a lot of devel­op­ment,” he says. “With any coun­try that is as young as that one, once you get past a cer­tain stage you then need to look at the re­fur­bish­ment and ex­pan­sion of ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture. The re­gion still has a lot of prom­ise.”

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