LIGHTS … PALME … ACTION!
The GCC region's longest-running trade convention for sound, lighting and AV professionals is expected to pack its biggest ever visual punch as global industry heavyweights, including Clay Paky, Robe and Martin Professional host dynamic theatres in an attempt to consolidate market share in the region.
Rudolph Anand, sales manager for the Informa exhibition, emphasises the significant upturn in the lighting sector this year, with TechnoPro (the PR Lighting distributors) taking a massive stand measuring around 1000 sq metres. “PALME is experiencing an enormous amount of interest from lighting companies, and of course we also have LOBO once again presenting their stunning laser and multimedia show,” commented Anand.
With higher and brighter light output being emitted from smaller, lighter footprints that are more energy efficient, Robe Lighting’s Regional Sales Manager, Elie Battah, for one is not surprised. “The demand for lighting is much greater than it was a few years ago and while Dubai remains a good market, we are also doing well in Qatar and Bahrain,” he said.
Visitors to the Robe booth at PALME Middle East will be able to see the new Robin MMX Spot, Robin 300, 600 and 1200 LED Wash. Making an impact for Clay Paky will be Sharpy, their miniature beam light, alongside Alpha Spot HPE 1500, Alpha Wash 1500 and Alpha Profile 1500, while the company will also be unveiling its LED range for the first time in the region. New from Martin Professional, on the stand of their exclusive distributors, Venuetech, will be the new MacViper moving head, MAC III AirFX mid-air effects luminaire and M2GO lighting console.
Clay Paky’s excellent year
Egor Popovski, Clay Paky’s Middle East representative, reflects on a year which has seen major exposure for their products at the Doha Tribeca Film Festival (courtesy of Creative Communication Group) and the recent Path of Pearls in Manama, Bahrain (Eclipse Staging Services) where lighting designer Luc Peumans (Painting with Light) used no fewer than 170 premium Clay Paky fixtures.
On the installation front, the Dubai World Trade Centre made a major investment in Clay Paky’s Alpha 1500 and 700 ranges, and Ferrari World on Yas Island took a liking to the popular Sharpy.
Mr. Popovski states that major events taking place in Qatar and Abu Dhabi have provided a further boost — with a significant trend towards their more powerful 1500W range. In Dubai, Eclipse Staging Services has a large inventory of 1500 fixtures and the fast growing MediaKraft has regularly been investing in the 1500 and 700 ranges, while the biggest inventories of their products are held in Qatar by Creative Communication Group and in Dubai by Production Technology (Protec).
Robe’s UAE Roadshow
Robe, meanwhile, recently undertook a ten-day roadshow throughout the UAE, visiting more than 15 major lighting companies in the country with new lines such as the Robin MMX Spot and LED Wash series. “The roadshow enabled us to get really close to clients and potential customers, offering them a chance to see the technology at close quarters,” said Elie Battah.
“Our decision to deal directly with rental companies without having any exclusivity anymore has changed the scenario completely; we are not only gaining greater market share but also receiving direct response feedback.”
Creative lighting design company, Lighthouse Productions, who hosted one of the events at the Fairmont Dubai, are just one of a network of prime rental houses holding large stocks of Robe equipment. Others include Desert Light Show in Saudi Arabia, Target in Doha with a large inventory of exclusively Robe lighting, Laser Art in Jeddah, Pico in Bahrain, and Highpro Event Management in Kuwait. All have enjoyed a busy six months, with Highpro recently fielding 30 x Robe Spot 700 moving heads, 20 x Wash 1200 and 10 x 600W Beams with two DigitalSpot 7000 for the opening ceremony of the 15th Asian Men’s Handball Championship in Jeddah. Over in Manama, Khalid Juman at Pico Bahrain has also added new MMX and ColorSpot 2500 fixtures, in preparation for a major show.
Another partner, Desert Light Show, with bases in Riyadh and Beirut, also recently purchased 16 of the new Robin MMX and 600E Spot. “We are delighted because they run silently, are lightweight, bright and with good effects,” said CEO and general manager, Elie Khoury. “We have found a big difference between our old equipment and the Robe products, especially in moving heads.”
Commending the company, Elie Battah said, “Desert Light Show has big potential due to the experience and professionalism of the owner Elie Khoury who is a well established lighting designer and operator in the area. Another new fast growing company in Qatar is Target. This is an Egyptian based company, that has now opened a branch in Qatar.” And with the FIFA World Cup looming in 2022 Qatar is presently the focus of much attention.
Finally, Martin Professional has enjoyed another busy year, with fixtures out via Eclipse on the Manama Capital of Culture and a high profile installation in Klub 360 at the Crystal Elite Hotel — both in Bahrain.
About PALME Middle East, 1-3 May 2012
Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre
PALME Middle East is the largest and longest running event catering for professional sound, light, audio visual, music, entertainment and systems integration industries in the Middle East.Celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2012, PALME attracts over 250 exhibitors who represent in excess of 800 brands and 5,000 visitors who have a combined purchasing authority of over US$ 745 Million.PALME Middle East has well and truly established itself as the best forum in the region for industry professionals to network with, and source solutions from both cutting- edge international manufacturers and industry leading regional distributors, as well as thousands of peers and colleagues.