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BUILDEX 2010 to reveal top Middle East construction opportunities as sector aims for 3.5 per cent annual growth.

The Middle East's construction sector is expected to grow at an annual rate of 3.5 per cent through 2015, surpassing growth rates in the European and North American markets. In the Gulf alone, around 70 per cent of registered projects are still under construction, with an additional 10 per cent in the concept and design stages. Major business and investment opportunities within the region's thriving construction and real estate markets will be unveiled during BUILDEX 2010, the 16th International Exhibition for Construction, running from May 12 to 16, 2010 at the Damascus International Fairgrounds in Syria.

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BUILDEX welcomed 636 companies representing 1,818 brands from 52 countries last year, with 225,000 Arab and international visitors attending the event.Aa Show organizer Arabian Group for Exhibitions & Conferences expects a 10 per cent increase in participation figures for the 2010 edition and has thus extended the exhibition space to cover the venue's area, which exceeds150,000 sqm. The event will highlight an expected boom in Syria's construction business following the announcement of Government plans to spend USD 50 billion on major infrastructure projects within the next five years according to Oxford Business Group Report. Local companies will also use BUILDEX as a networking platform to launch their export lines to other Arab countries.

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Alaa Hilal, CEO of Arabian Group, said: "Many prominent companies such as Grohe consider BUILDEX as their main gateway to the Syrian and Arab markets as a whole, in light of its stature as one of the region's largest construction expos. We also time BUILDEX to coincide with Syria's spring season so that visitors can combine business with pleasure and interact with regional and international players in a relaxed atmosphere."

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"Aside from accommodating regular participants from the Middle East, Europe and the Far East countries, we will be welcoming participation from UAE, Iran, Egypt, Italy, Taiwan, and China, and we will have a large contingent of over 80 companies from Turkey as well, so we are anticipating an exceptional year," he added.

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Commenting on last year's edition, Omar Ghalawenji, Syria's Minister of Construction and Housing, said: "BUILDEX is an ideal platform to get updated with the latest construction trends and technologies. It also opens up great business opportunities and encourages additional investments into the construction industry."

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Legislation introduced in 2009 to streamline house financing, including a mortgage law drafted at the end of the year, has further energized Syria's housing segment. The luxury-housing segment is highly active, while several villa compounds and mixed-use developments are currently underway. The country needs to build up to 687,000 homes to meet growing residential demand. Major regional property players such as Emaar UAE, MAF - Majid Al Futtaim Group, Qatari Diar, Saudi Bin Laden Group and Kharafi have already set up local operations, although mainly for tourism-related ventures.

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BUILDEX is regularly supported by the Syrian Ministry of Housing and Construction, the Order of Syrian Engineers and Architects, the Federation of Syrian Chambers of Commerce, the Damascus Chamber of Commerce, Damascus Chamber of Industry, and the Syrian Enterprise and Business Centre. Its broad scope ranges from Building and Construction, Heavy Machinery, HVAC and Water Technology to Stone and Marble, Paints and Insulation, Lighting Systems and Industry Publications.

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Arabian Group has recently launched a 'Plan Your Visit to BUILDEX' service in Arabic and it will be launched in English language starting mid April 2010, which can be accessed by international visitors via www.buildexonline.com. The company has also signed an agreement with Emirates Airlines to offer a 10 per cent discount to travelers attending the exhibition. 2010 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

2009 Al Bawaba (Albawaba.com)

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Publication:Albawaba.com
Date:Apr 7, 2010
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