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Leading precast concrete companies in the UAE and across the GCC have thrown their weight behind the inaugural Middle East Concrete (MEC) exhibition, being held alongside the industry leading Big 5 Show at Dubai's World Trade Centre from 21st to 24th November 2011.
Nathan Waugh, the Exhibition Manager of Middle East Concrete, said the debut MEC event will host a Precast Zone, which will see the participation of ten of the major UAE precast companies including, Emarat Europe, Dubai Precast and Exeed Precast alongside many other key names in the concrete industry such as Lafarge, Sany and Edama.
MEC's debut comes as the building industry continues to gather pace in the Gulf. According to market research firm Ventures Middle East, construction contracts worth $20bn were signed in the GCC in the second quarter alone.
"MEC will bring together suppliers, buyers, contractors, architects and other key players to experience and interact with the full range of concrete products, share information and technical knowledge and participate in ground breaking discussions on a global scale," explained Waugh.
A relatively new sector within the Middle East's concrete industry, precast, in which concrete products are molded and cured in off-site plants, is making major inroads. It boasts a number of benefits over on-site mixing, which has long been the norm in the Middle East construction sector, including better control, lower cost of production, durability and minimal material wastage.
"Concrete is at the heart of every building project and is used in many applications, from decorative to functional, so a dedicated exhibition will help develop the sector and address its various needs," Waugh said.
"Attendees and participants will notice a particular emphasis on precast at the event, which is a reflection of its increasingly important role within the sector. With a great range of applications and real impact on the bottom line, precast will undoubtedly prove itself to be an indispensible product across the industry in the years to come," he added.
"GCC economies account for over 40% of the Middle East concrete market spurred by the region's largest construction market. Multi-billion dollar projects are currently being built across the GCC ranging from rail and metro projects, to large scale commercial, industrial and residential developments and infrastructure projects. The demand for concrete will be on the increase," Waugh pointed out.
Dr. Daniele Pfeffer Seraphim, COO of Abu-Dhabi-based Gulf Precast Concrete Company, said her company, a major contributor to the UAE construction market for the past 28 years "intends to use MEC as an opportunity to identify new trends in techniques and products so as to later use it and integrate it within the company processes."
"MEC will also be a great platform to exchange knowledge, meet potential partners and collect more information about the forthcoming developments across the GCC," she added.
Emad Shahin, Factory Manager at Union Precast, which produces a comprehensive range of products from simple items such as boundary walls to sophisticated pre-stressed precast elements and entire precast structures, viewed MEC as a vital event that is sure to positively reflect on the sector.
"Construction laws and regulations in the UAE are changing and are favouring precast concrete and MEC will be the ideal channel to promote our products, discuss issues of interest to the sector and meet new players and stakeholders in the market," he said.
"The fact that the event is co-located with Big 5 will make it accessible to a larger audience that is also interested in precast and stands to benefit from having a product specific-show on concrete all under one roof," he added.
Construction professionals including contractors, architects, manufacturers, and engineers will also have the opportunity to attend a range of free to attend seminars every day of the event, with day 2 devoted to topics on the products and trends related to the precast industry. Workshops are scheduled to include educational forums, product showcases and panel discussions aimed at highlighting key trends in concrete products and technologies. More information on this exclusive seminar series will be updated on the Middle East Concrete website in the coming weeks.
Robert Campbell, Commercial Manager of Xtramix Concrete Solutions & Xtramix International Precast, recognised market leaders in sustainable concrete solutions, commented on the significance of MEC across the UAE construction industry, saying, "With a projected construction spend of $600bn in the Middle East over the next three years, the market is clearly picking up, whilst becoming increasingly competitive. MEC is an opportunity for a company such as Xtramix to set itself apart from other key players, while reaching out to potential clients."
The event held at the Dubai World Trade Centre will also feature the live product demonstrations in a dedicated area, during the entire event, offering practical product information in an interactive environment.