With around 800 participants from 460 companies from the concrete and precast industry, the ICCX Middle East 2018 was once again a complete success. The second edition of the trade fair, which took place from 25 to 26 November at the Sharjah Expo Centre, United Arab Emirates, represents a unique event with its clear focus on the concrete and precast industry.
As a multi-day international event, the ICCX – the International Concrete Conference & Exhibition – takes place worldwide in various locations, including St. Petersburg and Warsaw. The trade fairs have been organised for many years by ad-media GmbH, which is based in Cologne, Germany. The special feature of the ICCX Middle East is its particular alignment to the concrete and precast industry, which drew in an industry-specific expert audience from the Middle East. The consistently goal-oriented event, organised in compact form on two days in November, had already directly established itself as a new meeting place for the industry in the region with the kick-off event in 2017 – and the repeat in 2018 underlined this standard.
Ongoing and forthcoming infrastructure and building projects offer ideal prospects for the future of the concrete and precast industry in the region. In particular, the focus here is on the development of the infrastructure to meet the challenges of large events such as the World Exhibition in 2020. As the first and only event in the region that exclusively addresses the concrete and precast industry, the ICCX Middle East may be regarded as the answer to the growing demands of the construction sector in the United Arab Emirates and the neighbouring region.
With the participation of more than 100 exhibitors from all over the world, the event was supported by the German Emirati Chamber of Commerce and Industry (AHK), the American Concrete Institute (ACI), the International Federation for Structural Concrete (fib), the Spanish Association of Manufacturers of Construction and Mining Equipment (Anmopyc), and numerous local associations and institutions, including the Society of Engineers and the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce.
As in the previous year, the ICCX Middle East 2018 was opened by His Excellency Marwan Jassim Al Sarka, CEO of the Sharjah Investment & Development Authority (Shurooq). Like the previous ICCX Middle East in 2017, the trade fair's patron was His Excellence Mohamed Al Midfa, CEO of the Expo Centre Sharjah, and therefore the latter took place at the modern Sharjah Expo Centre, which is easily reachable in 15 minutes from both Dubai International Airport (DXB) and Sharjah International Airport (SHJ).
In the presence of Dr. Holger Karutz, managing partner of ad-media GmbH, Alexandra Chambless, Vice-Consul for Business and Culture at the General Consulate of the Federal Republic of Germany in Dubai, and Mr Felix Neugart, CEO of the AHK (Joint Council for Industry and Commerce), His Excellency Marwan bin Jassim Al Sarkral ceremoniously cut the opening tape and emphasised in his speech that events such as the ICCX Middle East offer precisely what the Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq) stands for – namely the development and expansion of strategic cooperations with leading business associations as well as the continuous strengthening and support of the industries in the various markets in Sharjah.
An essential component of every ICCX is the extensive conference programme. During the trade fair, interested visitors were invited to listen to the various lectures and to actively put their questions to the speakers. The experts came from Germany, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Norway, France, the USA and Austria. The programme itself was organised into different blocks of topics: amongst others, these included questions of regional relevance such as the further development of the Middle East of the future, materials and precast concrete construction, and the practical aspects of concrete block technology and paving techniques.
In parallel with the official ICCX lecture programme, an advanced educational seminar for engineers was offered by the fib-UAE together with the Society of Engineers under the leadership of Prof. Sherif Yehia (Sharjah University). This also took place at the Sharjah Expo Centre. Leading suppliers for the concrete and precast industry, machine and plant manufacturers and consultancies presented their latest products and solutions to the expert audience. Lightning sketchers drew accurate live caricatures of the visitors and thus offered varied entertainment to the visitors and exhibitors.
As early as at the first event in 2017, the organisers underlined their ambition of establishing a new event concept with the ICCX Middle East that had previously not existed in the region. Hence, the dates for 2018 and 2019 were already announced last year and, as an expression of continuity, here is the announcement of the next date: The ICCX Middle East 2019 will take place from 24 to 25 November 2019 at the Sharjah Expo Centre. The preparations for the third edition of the trade exhibition are in full swing to offer an ideal platform once again for the entire concrete and precast industry in the region, at which existing and new business relationships can be maintained and established.