The 7th edition of the international conference and exhibition Geosynthetics Middle East 2015 (GeoME 2015) once again turned the capital of the United Arab Emirates—Abu Dhabi—into an international meeting place for geotechnical and environmental experts. The event attracted more than 400 industry experts and 35 countries.
The strong attendance, plus a sold out exhibition, underscored why the conference series has become the largest event of its kind in the Middle East.
Organized by SKZ German Plastics Center in partnership with BMC Gulf LLC, and held under the Patronage of the Abu Dhabi City Municipality, the conference and exhibition took place 16 – 17 November 2015.
Abu Dhabi strategic location again ensured a strong event, as the gathering provided regional and international investors, project leaders, and technology providers with an exceptional opportunity to network at a gateway to geosynthetics markets in the Middle East, Africa, and the Asian Sub-continent.
The opening ceremony was attended by high officials from the European Union Delegation and the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany, who highlighted the importance of the conference in their welcome notes. This year’s Keynote Address was held by H.E. Eng. Majed Abed Al Katheeri, Director of Internal Roads & Infrastructure at Abu Dhabi City Municipality. Eng. Majed outlined the aims of GeoME to support a sustainable and environment-friendly infrastructure in line with the 2030 Vision of the Abu Dhabi Government. Further, he emphasized how by using geosynthetic materials, the Municipality had saved more than AED 110 million (~USD $30 million) in projects. He also highlighted how these projects curtailed carbon dioxide emissions by 15% and increased efficiency 20% (time and labor savings).
For the first time, Geosynthetics Middle East was complemented by SKZ-certified workshops and short-courses. Short courses and course chairs included:
- Specifications for Geosynthetics –Helmut Zanzinger (SKZ) and Philippe Grimmelprez (Mattex)
- Smart Composites and Hybrids in Civil Engineering and Building Constructions: Future Vision – Thoralf Krause (SKZ)
- Higher Quality and Productivity Control Before, During and After Welding of Geomembranes – Eddie Weiser, Rachid Benlakhouy
- Polymer Basics for Decision Makers – Stefan Fleischmann (SKZ)
Workshops offered included:
- Standartization of Geosynthetics – Helmut Zanzinger (SKZ)
- Global Demand for Skilled Specialists: An introduction to Training – Made in Germany – Kristine Schinkmann (iMOVE)
The workshops and short courses received tremendously supportive feedback from the delegates, and all the sessions were fully booked.
EXHIBITOR & SPONSOR SUPPORT
With more than 30 international exhibitors, the GeoME Technical Exhibition was sold out for the third time in a row. Some of the major industry players who participated included Atarfil, Bonar Natpet, CETCO, HUESKER, Leister, and Maccaferri. These companies and others in the exhibition showcased products and services such as woven and nonwoven geotextiles, geomembranes, welding machines, geosynthetic clay liners (GCL), geogrids, geonets, geocomposites, geocells, water management systems, erosion control materials, engineering designs, and much more.
INAUGURAL GEOME AWARDS
The 1st annual GeoME Awards 2015 celebrated outstanding achievements in the international geosynthetics community. They were presented during the GeoME Gala Dinner, which was hosted by the Abu Dhabi City Municipality and SKZ German Plastics Center.
Winners of the 1st annual GeoME Awards included:
- Best Geosynthetics Project: Maccaferri Middle East LLC, “The 32m high ParaMesh Retaining wall in Al Jais Mountain Road Project, Ras Al Khaimah, UAE”
- Best Geosynthetics Innovation and Technology: CETCO, “Alcoa-Ma´aden Lining System for the Disposal Facility of Red Mud at Ras Al Kahir, Saudi Arabia.”
“The organizer committee created the GeoME Awards, to support the need of sharing innovative technologies and best practice throughout the geosynthetics community,” said Reda Ashkar, SKZ Business Development Manager for Middle East & North Africa and Chairman of the GeoME 2015. “The GeoME Awards [offer an] opportunity for geosynthetics experts to be recognized for leading projects, initiatives and technologies, and will certainly support SKZ’s efforts within the MENA region to promote the highest standards for polymeric construction materials.”