Digital Construction Summit to take place on 14 September in Dubai

The event is an evolution of the successful Middle East BIM Summit, which first launched in 2015

Big Project Middle East (BPME) has announced that its popular Middle East BIM Summit (ME BIM Summit) will undergo a transformation in 2022, and will become the Digital Construction Summit. The new summit will have a far broader mandate and will take place on 14 September, at the Anantara Downtown (formerly known as the Oberoi) in Business Bay, Dubai.

The live event will bring together speakers from developers, consultants, contractors, solutions providers and more from across the region, and will feature panel discussions, presentations and networking opportunities. As before, registration is free for construction professionals wishing to attend.

Middle East Construction News (MECN) caught up with Gavin Davids, Head of Editorial and Content at BPME to discuss the construction sector’s adoption of technology, and the refocused event.

Asked about his thoughts on whether the regional construction industry is now up to par in terms of its adoption of technology and new delivery methods or if there’s still room for improvement, he notes, “While there has been a considerable uptake in the adoption of technology and digitalisation of construction workflows and processes, there is still a long way to go before it becomes ubiquitous. Currently, the major adopters are the larger organisations – the MNC consultants, the large-scale contractors and international developers, but it has yet to filter down to the rest of the industry.”

Ali Sajwani, General Manager – Operations at DAMAC and CEO of D-Labs sat down with MECN to share his thoughts on how the UAE is future-proofing by being a Metaverse champion.

He adds, “The challenge is that many small to medium sized firms and companies are still concerned with the upfront costs and are wary of the initial lack of ROI. These attitudes need to be changed as the future is digital and there is no going back to the traditional way of doing things.”

Asked about the idea behind refocusing the event and what some of his goals are for the Summit, Davids responds, “While the ME BIM Summit started out as a conversation about the benefits of BIM and growing awareness about it, over the last nine years there has been a gradual shift in tone and focus. As the general acceptance of BIM has grown, our attendees have become increasingly curious about the different benefits other technologies can bring to the industry – particularly from other sectors and spheres.”

“This has resulted in discussions about the use of Data, Digital Twins, Artificial Intelligence, 3D Printing, Automation and Robotics, to name just a few. Therefore, we felt that the time was right for us to move the conversation beyond BIM and use the summit as a platform to discuss and shape the narrative around the myriad of technologies and innovations that are now available to the modern construction professional.”

Commenting on some of the key themes of the event, he notes that the summit will focus on several key narratives including: The Impact of Data across the Lifecycle of a Project and How to Properly Action It; Taking the Construction Process off the Site and Into the Factory; The Benefits of Technology and Data in Managing and Operating Real Estate Assets; and The Rise of Robotics and how they can Answer the Construction Industry’s Needs.

He adds, “Of course, we will also be working with our partners and stakeholders to deliver a fully rounded and comprehensive message to our audience.”

Davids notes that the agenda and speakers for the event will appear on the website in the coming weeks. Asked about what he’d like delegates to take away from the event, he states, “That they learnt something and that they were able to meet speakers and presenters who inspired them to change the way they think about the construction process.”

He concludes, “There is a tremendous appetite for knowledge in the local and regional construction industry – people want to know how they can change and evolve their companies and their processes, and I would like this event to help them along on their journey. It is an invaluable opportunity for people to get know those who are leading the way forward, but also to bring their own ideas and questions to the table.”

The City of Paris recently announced the completion of an international design competition to update the Notre-Dame de Paris’ surroundings. The competition was underpinned by BIM technology. In the UAE, further highlighting the importance of technology in the built environment, the Dubai Municipality recently launched several technical activities relating to 3D printing technologies. Omnix and Abu Dhabi Municipality also announced that they worked together over the last few months to conduct sessions aimed at equipping AEC firms with deeper insights into making a smooth transition to BIM.


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