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Future-proofing construction remains high on priority as Carbon Limit wins the Start-up City Pitch Competition at Big 5 Global

  • Abdulrahman Alkholy from the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure emphasized the innovative strategies supporting the industry on its path to digital transformation
  • Big 5 FutureTech Summit speakers call for rethinking design processes with the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning
  • Start-Up City crowned climate tech company Carbon Limit as the winner accompanied by Angelswing, Arenpro, Aerofax, Surviot with prizes from Big 5 Global and Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy

07 December 2023| Dubai, United Arab Emirates:

Construction 5.0 is the need of the hour, agreed thought leaders and innovators at the Big 5 FutureTech Summit, calling the industry to invest in the AEC (architecture, engineering and construction) tech industry. The summit welcomed speakers from the public and private sector at the Dubai World Trade Centre.

Addressing an audience of policymakers, disruptors, innovators and ESG advisors, the summit opened with an insightful session by Abdulrahman Alkholy, Senior Principal Engineer - Project Planning & Design Department at the UAE’s Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure. Emphasizing the innovative strategies that support the industry on its path to digital transformation and adoption of BIM for projects, AlKholy said: “In order for digital transformation to take place, collaboration must be prioritized between all teams.”

Another critical session on future-proofing the industry echoed Alkholy’s words as panellists from Ras Al Khaimah Municipality, Karmous-Edwards Consulting, Zacua Ventures, ARCHIDENTITY and Premier Construction Software collectively agreed that the construction sector must rethink the design process with the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning. The high-profile panel discussion was moderated by Cristina Savian, CEO and Founder of Be-Wise.

On the penultimate day, the digitalization wave swept over Big 5 Global as the startup ecosystem witnessed a successful wrap up of the Start-Up City Pitch Competition.


Start-up City brings innovation to the forefront of Big 5 Global

“Startups play a pivotal role in reshaping traditional practices in the industry by introducing innovative solutions to design, build, and manage construction projects,” said Josine Heijmans, Vice President – Construction at dmg events, the organizers of Big 5 Global.

This year, Start-up City welcomed 50 start-ups from 20 countries, showcasing innovations from 3D printing to IoT, AI and concrete technologies, smart energy management systems to sustainable construction materials, and more. As part of the competition, one-on-one mentoring sessions were organized with the region's leading accelerators and investors in the start-up ecosystem, such as Rainmaking, Founder Institute, Astrolabs, Flat6Labs, Plug & Play and Zacua Partners.

Supported by the Dubai Chamber of Digital Economy (DCDE) and Enterprise Greece, Start-up City also hosted key sessions outlining insights to navigate the funding landscape, where Betty Alexadropoulou, Executive Director, Member of the Board of Directors at Enterprise Greece with fellow panellists Abe Seksek, CEO of MENA and Africa, Rainmaking and Laura Mansoor, Program Director at Flat6Labs discussed the regional and global outlook for the startup ecosystem.

The finalists at this year’s Start-up City Pitch Competition included Angelswing Inc., ArenPro, BuildHop, Carbon Limit, innotech, METGUARD, Smarter Habitat GmbH & Co. KG, SURVIOT Monitoring, Urban Canopee and Verofax Limited.

Carbon Limit, which provides a solution comprising carbon negative powder additive, made of active minerals that are highly reactive to CO2 was selected as the winner this year. It won a $25,000 bespoke marketing package, which is a carefully curated package to place the startup in front of the construction community. In addition, DCDE offered significant rewards for the top three winners, whereby the winner Carbon Limit secured a cash prize of AED50,000, followed by AED30,000 to Angelswing in second place and AED20,000 to Arenpro received as the third winning start-up.

ALEC, Founder Institute and Nirman Ventures as the other partners also selected Angelswing and Verofax; Arenrpo and Surviot; and Arenpro and Carbon Limit for various opportunities as their selected winners, respectively.

“In the Start-up City Pitch Competition, each startup had a unique story to tell illustrating the transformative potential of innovation in addressing challenges and shaping the future of construction,” added Heijmans.

Digital Construction World drives industry’s tech transition

As conversations around digital transformation and technology disruption shaped up at the summit and across the startup ecosystem, elsewhere on the show floor, visitors explored the tech-enabled solutions and its impact on construction at Digital Construction World, a key feature of Big 5 Global.

Some of the leading exhibitors showcasing the use of artificial intelligence, blockchain technology, 3D printing, virtual reality as well as geospatial technology at Digital Construction World include, Premier Construction Software, a financial construction ERP software provider; Planradar, an intuitive platform for construction and real estate management; and Revizto, an integrated BIM collaboration software connecting architecture, engineering and construction throughout the entire project lifecycle.

“At Big 5 Global we are thrilled to have been able to create a digital ecosystem that enables industry stakeholders to forge strategic partnerships supporting the industry’s transition to digitalization,” concluded Heijmans.


For media queries, contact:

Ranju Warrier, Head of Communications – Construction, dmg events

About Big 5 Global

With a 43-year legacy, Big 5 Global is the largest and most influential building and construction event in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and the annual meeting hub for the global construction industry. Taking place from 4 - 7 December 2023, at the Dubai World Trade Centre, Big 5 Global covers the full construction cycle across dedicated sectors and eight specialized events enabling industry professionals to source worldwide building solutions for every stage of construction: Big 5 Heavy, Middle East Concrete, Windows, Doors & Facades Event, Gulf Glass, HVAC R Expo, Middle East Stone, Urban Design & Landscape Expo, and FM Expo. The event is part of Big 5, the world’s largest and most diverse portfolio of construction events. For more information and to register, visit:

About dmg events

dmg events is a leading organizer of face-to-face events and publisher of trade magazines and information services. Our aim is to create dynamic marketplaces to connect businesses with the right communities to accelerate their growth in today’s rapidly evolving landscape. With a presence in over 30+ countries and organizing more than 100+ events each year, dmg events is a global leader in the industry. Attracting over 425,000 attendees and delegates annually, we organize events in the construction, hospitality, food & beverages, interiors & design, energy, coatings, entertainment, and transportation sectors.

To better serve our customers, dmg events has offices in 10 countries including Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Egypt, South Africa, the UK, Canada and Singapore. By being on the ground we can better understand market needs and nurture relationships to create unforgettable experiences for our attendees. Our flagship events include Big 5 Global, The Hotel Show, INDEX, ADIPEC and Gastech. For more information visit Founded in 1989, dmg events is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Daily Mail and General Trust plc (DMGT,