Dubai – MENA Herald: The outdoor environment and public spaces continue to be integral parts of the UAE’s vibrant society, fuelling the growth of the outdoor design and landscaping sector. The Abu Dhabi Urban Planning Council has developed the Abu Dhabi Public Realm Design Manual to strategically outline a blueprint for building a world-class outdoor community in the emirate to enhance the standard of living of its people. According to the Manual, public spaces consist of all outdoor areas that are physically or visually accessible regardless of ownership and are organized into four categories; namely, parks, streetscapes, waterfronts, and public spaces.

Dubai, on the other hand, has launched an ongoing campaign which will transform the emirate into an open air museum, reshaping the way people view it. The city will become an open gallery with numerous street art, installations, photography and sculpture that will instil a sense of culture and value among residents and visitors. Such initiatives drove tourist numbers to 14.2 million in 2015, a surge of 7.5 per cent over 2014. In addition, Dubai’s masterplan for 2020 incorporates sustainable outdoor design and green spaces, giving momentum to the landscaping sector.

The Big 5 Outdoor Design & Build Show will make its debut at the Community Management Week that will take place from May 23 to 25, 2016 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. It is specialised trade show for landscaping, infrastructure and urban development with a special focus on the design, build and construction of all private and public spaces. To be held under the patronage of H.E. Dr. Abdullah Belhaif Al Nuaimi, UAE Minister of Infrastructure Development, and supported by the Dubai Municipality, Sheikh Zayed Housing Programme, and the Federal Transport Authority, this year’s edition will showcase sustainable, low-maintenance and cost-effective technologies, products and services for the outdoor design and landscaping sector.

James Meltz, Exhibition Director, The Big 5 Outdoor Design & Build Show, said: “The UAE government has given a tremendous significance to outdoor built environment by developing them as open spaces that easily blends with the surrounding architectural and natural features. Keeping up the government’s vision of building sustainable, aesthetically pleasing, and utilitarian open areas, The Big 5 Outdoor Design & Build Show 2016 will bring dynamic ideas for the industry professionals through the exhibition, Leaders in Landscape Summit, and Continuing Professional Development (CPD)-certified workshops. We are confident that the show will fill the market gap for smart, innovative and green landscaping solutions, making outdoor spaces, beautiful, inviting and useable.”

Peter Scott, Manager – Landscape Architecture, Khatib & Alami, said: “Close cooperation between the government authorities and the private sector has resulted in the creation of excellent landscape architecture in the UAE. In fact, the country has set a standard for the MENA region in desert landscape modification, outdoor liveability, water optimization, sustainability, and maintenance. We are upbeat that The 2016 Big 5 Outdoor Design & Build Show will throw the spotlight on creative, artistic, and environmental-friendly products and services to address the growing demand for sustainable products and technologies for outdoor design.”

The highlight of The 2016 Big 5 Outdoor Design & Build Show is the educational conference that includes a ‘Leaders in Landscape Summit’ and free-to-attend CPD-certified workshops. The Leaders in Landscape Summit will gather local and international industry leaders who will provide an exclusive review of the region’s iconic outdoor projects. The 3-day agenda of the Summit includes sessions on Landscape Project Leaders, Leaders in Landscape Architecture and Design, and Leaders in Landscape Construction.

Ali El-Keblawy, Professor at the University of Sharjah, will speak on the topic ‘Conservation of Arab World’s Natural Heritage and Culture with the Use of Native Plants in Landscaping.’ The talk will touch on the construction and maintenance of different types of thematic gardens, including medicinal, aromatic, herbal, and edible.

“Growing more endangered native plants in gardens and landscaped areas would inevitably lead to their conservation,” added El-Keblawy. “For instance, local species such as Acridocarpus orientalis, Caralluma flava, and Pulicaria edmondsonii are threatened in their natural habitat and can be conserved with our efforts. Additionally, planting them will reduce the use of fresh water, fertilizers and pesticides, thus considerably limiting the pressure on natural resources and the environment.”

Sameer Darwash, Manger – Projects, Union Properties, will speak on the topic ‘Green Community Expansion Project.’ He will discuss the creation of an aesthetically beautiful and environmentally-friendly community, while addressing key approaches to deliver functional, cost-efficient, and easy-to-maintain projects.

“Landscaping can be a significant investment unless the right team uses the correct design/build approach to build the most efficient and exceptional landscape design. The design/build approach carries the project from concept to completion and maintenance under the same team, resulting in beautiful, harmonious, and cost-effective design. Moreover, there is an increasing demand for green landscaping solutions with growing awareness towards environmental sustainability,” concluded Darwash.

Organized by dmg events Middle East, Asia & Africa, The 2016 Big 5 Outdoor Design & Build Show will be co-located for the first time with four dedicated events that make up Community Management Week. The other events are FM EXPO – the largest dedicated facilities management event in the Middle East; Middle East Waste & Recycling – Dubai’s premier event on opportunities and challenges in waste management and recycling; Commercial Cleaning & Hygiene – bringing those involved in cleaning services and products together to share ideas and innovative products; and Elevators & Access Control – the only building access and mobility exhibition in the Middle East.