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Wed 18 Nov 2009 04:00 AM

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Big business

CID questions Paula Al Chami, show director of The Big 5, about the exhibition's relevance to interior designers.

Big business
Paula Al Chami.
Big business
Past editions of The Big 5.
Big business
Past editions of The Big 5.
Big business
Past editions of The Big 5.

CID questions Paula Al Chami, show director of The Big 5, about the exhibition's relevance to interior designers.

Taking place between November 23 and 26, this year's edition of The Big 5, flagged as the largest gathering of the construction industry in the Middle East, is promising to be 15% bigger than the 2008 show. Over 39,000m² of exhibition space has been secured, with companies from every stratum of the construction industry scheduled to attend.

Last year's show was widely regarded as having bucked global trends by attracting some 58,040 trade visitors in spite of its timing, which coincided with the credit crisis hitting Dubai. Interior designers accounted for 8% of visitors, representing a small but significant proportion of attendees.

Commercial Interior Design caught up with show director, Paula Al Chami, to ask why interior designers should make a point of visiting The Big Five this year.

How is The Big 5 relevant to the region's interior design community?

The Big 5 brings together a vast range of products and services related to the building and construction industry. Interior design is an important part of the building's life cycle, particularly in the design and procurement phases.

With nearly 3,000 exhibitors participating at the show, arriving from all major exporting nations, the wealth of product on display will certainly keep designers' creativity flowing.The Facility Construction sector of the show encompasses manufacturers of finishes, including wall finishes, paints, ceilings, flooring etc; Special Construction & Facilities covers kitchens, bathrooms, swimming pools, fountains etc; Openings includes doors and windows, and there is also a dedicated area for marble, stone, ceramics, glass, metals and wood manufacturers.

Why can interior designers not afford to miss the show this year?

Three thousand exhibitors, 52 countries, 16 halls, one outstanding event! The Big 5 delivers the most comprehensive product offering for the building and construction industry.

And The Big 5 2009 is the biggest yet! We're 15% bigger than ever before, with 43,000m² of exhibition floor space. It's the place for ‘big business'.

With construction projects valued at $3.1 trillion underway in the Gulf, no other show can offer such an enormous range of building and construction related products and services. Meanwhile, The Big 5 Business Conference will bring a realistic perspective to the critical challenges that are indicative of our current times and will focus on Building Future Cities of the Middle East.

And finally, The Big 5 Gaia Awards are back by popular demand! Now in its second year, the awards are showcasing the best in green building products and services live at the show.

Are there any particular exhibiting companies that interior designers should keep an eye out for?

The list is very long, as you can imagine, but to give you a taste, some of the must-see companies are Nathan Allan Glass from Canada, RAR Paints, RAK Ceramics and Porcellan from the UAE, and Miele, Putzmeister and Nolte Kuechen from Germany, to name a few.

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