Intermat Preview – Third time lucky?

Intermat Middle East opens this week boasting new products but will it finally deliver on its promise of offering a big-show experience to the region?

CMME wonders if it will be a case of third time’s the charm for Intermat Middle East

CMME wonders if it will be a case of third time’s the charm for Intermat Middle East

The organisers of the extension of the Paris-based behemoth will be hoping it’s a case of third time lucky when it returns this week at ADNEC in Abu Dhabi. Now into its third edition, Intermat Middle East is an event that hasn’t yet caught fire despite the extreme heat experienced in 2012.

The move from October to January should at least help with the weather which at times made visiting the outside exhibition area unbearable last time around.

Indeed the oven-like temperatures at ADNEC – undergoing a renovation in 2012, forcing a move to the sun-facing south side of the expo centre – indiscriminately baked exhibitor and visitor alike. The memories of those returning from the outside drenched-through like they forgot to bring their towels to the pool will live long in the memory.

Intermat in Europe has so firmly established itself as the third largest global event since its inauguration in 1988, that it now confidently bears the burden of rotating with Bauma and Conexpo in the US. It hasn’t been an easy road travelled thus far with previous events blighted by a string obstructions from transport strikes to bird flu to bearing the full force of the crash of 2009. It has done so by being determinedly outward facing, embracing markets close to Europe.

Like its older German and US cousins, it started as a local show but found its place as an international meeting place. Before Bauma was flying dealers and equipment customers from the Middle East, it was Intermat that was pulling visitors from Jordan to Jeddah. The Intermat brand arrived in Abu Dhabi in 2011 promising to bring the experience of a major industry event to the Gulf. Warmly received as a spring addition to a threadbare collection of region-wide, heavy machinery-related shows, the timing made sense. If the Big-5 and PMV Live marked the end of the year, Intermat Middle East could kick off the new one.

But then it was realised that its 18-month rotation would place it up against the budgets spent on taking space and stands at the Dubai institution. As a result, the edition in October last year was always going to be compared to the one-two punch of The Big-5 and PMV Live.

On paper the fight looked pretty even. In one corner, you had the established local pro who could count on the local crowd for support and in the other the veteran heavyweight with a decent south paw and a star-studded fan-base in its corner of the ring including Manitowoc, Doosan, Terex Finlay, Putzmeister, Sennebogen, Liebherr and Atlas Copco.

In reality the fight was rather one-sided with PMV Live being considered a return to form and Intermat Middle East a hot mess. Those that visited complained that the show wasn’t big enough; that it lacked the true Intermat experience; and that Abu Dhabi was too remote for a largely Dubai-based construction community. Ultimately Intermat Middle East succeeded in proving what many people have argued for half a decade: that largely the UAE is too small a market to sustain a dedicated machinery show. Perhaps, the biggest shame of the previous show was that it was a lot better than the footfall suggested. The exhibitor was short in comparison with other events but it was also a pretty solid representation of the machinery industry.

It also boasted a decent array of new equipment and, as noted by CMME at the time, it offered one of the few opportunities to compare region-ready machines side-by-side, price-by-price. It was also backed up by a substantial if thinly attended conference that made the most of local governmental support to put together a programme that would rival many other more established events. Plus it was free.

How will this coming event be judged, then? It may not help that Dubai has only just hosted what has been widely regarded as the best PMV Live event in years. With respect to names such as Sennebogen, LiuGong and Doosan, who again bring gravity to the event with their support, the published exhibitor list looks weaker compared to what was on show last time around, let alone in November. There were certainly few previous exhibitors who were regretting passing on Intermat Middle East at PMV Live, however, this will be the first major construction equipment show after the announcement of Expo 2020.

Furthermore, with a series of launches announced in recent weeks, by 16 January you should have seen a burst of new products and a substantial representation of contractors looking to do some window shopping before the construction for that festival gets underway.

Kit you will see
In the lead up to Intermat Middle East, York Liang of LiuGong revealed that the Chinese manufacturer will use the show to put its equipment in the minds of buyers.

“At the coming year’s edition we will be showcasing a number of products such as wheel loader, excavators, roller, backhoe loader, mobile crane amongst many others. Also, an increasing number of LiuGong products will be launched in the MENA region with tailored configuration, keeping in mind the high temperature and dust.”

CIFA will showcase its truck pump model K38L acquired by the customer “New Mix”. Describing the model and its features in details, Diego Bertati, said: “The K38L truck mounted concrete pump is the perfect choice for small and medium sites. With a 4-sections-boom it combines ease of use with a compact truck layout. It is adequate also when a relevant delivery capacity is needed: bridges and deep pours, car parking and basements. The pump can be equipped both with an open loop and closed loop pumping unit to reach the highest performances.”

The star turn of the Bobcat display on the stand for Kanoo Machinery, the authorised Bobcat dealer for the UAE, will be the first showing of the new Bobcat T40180 18m telescopic handler in the Middle East. The T40180 telehandler will be joined on the Kanoo stand by the Bobcat S130B model, the most popular skid-steer loader in the Middle East and the S510 loader, part of the new 500 platform range of Bobcat compact loaders launched in 2013.

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