Mayor of Jeddah Dr. Hani Abu Ras officially inaugurated ‘Big 5 Saudi 2012’ exhibition on Saturday at the Jeddah Centre for Forums & Events. Spanning over two halls, one purpose built for the event due to demand, the show is hosting over 500 exhibitors from 36 countries across a variety of sectors from the intentional building and construction industry. The mayor met with a selection of VIP dignitaries before being given a guided tour of the exhibition. As well as the exhibition, there will be a number of added value elements to this year’s event, including the brand new Concrete Zone: a dedicated arena for those working within this buoyant sector to showcase their products and services. There will also be two education workshops, one focussed on LEED and similar sustainability rating systems, and the other on Concrete Repair. Even though in its second year, the event has doubled in size and hosting companies from across the world, with more than 75 per cent of the exhibitors representing international locations. Taking place March 10-13, the event is expecting to attract more than 12,000 visitors and organisers are optimistic that the week will provide a successful networking and business platform for the industry. Emirates Steel is the Gold Sponsor for The Big 5 2012. Emirates Steel is a direct subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Basic Industries Corporation (ADBIC), which is, in turn, wholly-owned by the General Holding Company (GHC). It is the only integrated steel plant in the UAE, utilising the latest rolling mill technology to produce reinforcing bar and wire rod. Emirates Steel will be on stand D50 and will be welcoming visitors in the ES café opposite Hall 2. Al Arabiya comes on board as the official broadcasting partner for The Big 5 Saudi 2012. The news channels has been broadcasting since 2003, with viewers tuning in from across the Middle East, Asia Pacific, Southeast Asia, North Africa, Europe, the Americas, and Australia. The Big 5 Saudi launched in 2011 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, following the phenomenal success of the flagship exhibition, The Big 5, in Dubai, UAE. The Big 5 is the largest event for the building and construction industry in the Middle East. It attracts more than 2,500 exhibitors from 70 countries, taking place at the Dubai International Conference & Exhibition Centre. For more than 30 years The Big 5 has provided a business and networking platform for the construction industry. It is an opportunity for buyers and sellers of construction products and services from around the world to source an astounding array of the very latest technologies, innovations and techniques.