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Sat 18 Oct 2008 04:00 AM

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US $120bn worth of projects up for grabs

Despite the global credit crunch and a suggested economic slowdown in the Gulf, latest analyses show there are still more than 250 major civil construction projects worth some US $120 billion (AED440 billion) in the region up for grabs.

Despite the global credit crunch and a suggested economic slowdown in the Gulf, latest analyses show there are still more than 250 major civil construction projects worth some US $120 billion (AED440 billion) in the region up for grabs.

As the most important five days for the construction sector in the Middle East approaches, the Big 5 organisers have said the show is now a sell- out with industry exhibitors.

"The exhibitors are coming in record numbers to promote themselves in a region continuing to grow and develop," said Paula Al Chami, exhibition director for DMG World Media, which organises the exhibition.

The Big 5 is the largest show for the industry in the Gulf and one of the world's largest trade shows for the construction industry and associated suppliers. The 2007 show featured more than 2830 exhibiting companies from 53 countries.

"We are already well over 3000 exhibiting companies for the 2008 show and we are looking at more than 50,000 visitors," said Al Chami.

Analysis carried out by The Big 5 research partner Proleads has identified more than 250 major civil construction projects across the GCC countries, which have gone beyond initial planning and are in the bidding phase for consultants, contractors and suppliers.

They range in value from $12 million to $13.6 billion with 135 of them in the UAE and 60 in Saudi Arabia.

The top 10 projects in bidding alone are valued at $64.3 billion, headed by the building of new cities in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

"These statistics underline that there is still a lot of activity planned in civil construction in the coming years, which is being reflected in the growth of the show," said Simon Mellor, vice- president, construction for DMG World Media.

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