Dubai, UAE: International players in the professional audio-visual (AV) and entertainment equipment sectors are looking to the Middle East as a key growth market, as they turn to the region’s dedicated industry trade show in Dubai to take their businesses to the next level.
Economic development fuelled by upcoming mega events and investments into hospitality, education and commercial infrastructure has had a positive impact on the pro AV and entertainment industries, with suppliers keen to tap into a Middle East region which they say is among their largest markets globally.
The biggest names in the business, including Martin Professional, a Danish manufacturer of stage and architectural lighting along with effects fixtures, and German company Sennheiser, which produces consumer and professional audio electronics, are among those that have their sights set on robust regional growth over the coming years.
They’re also the first to sign on as Founding Partners and headline exhibitors at the inaugural edition of Prolight + Sound Middle East, which takes place from 31 October – 2 November 2016 at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre.
“There has been consistent, double-digit growth in our business since our Middle East office was established in in 2009,” said Mig Cardamone, Director of Sales and Marketing at Sennheiser Middle East. “With mega events such as the Dubai Expo 2020 and the Qatar World Cup in 2022, the region is rife with opportunity and we expect to maintain steady growth momentum over the next five years.”
Cardamone said some of Sennheiser’s Middle East projects, such as the upgrade of microphones and audio systems at Masjid al-Ḥarām – the world’s largest mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia – have been among the company’s largest globally.
Now Sennheiser is looking for more success in sectors such as hospitality, broadcast, and business services, as it prepares to showcase its latest product portfolio at Prolight + Sound Middle East 2016.
“Prolight + Sound Middle East 2016 gives us a chance to connect with our regional customer base, and offer our support and services to all the users, broadcasters and integrators of our products,” added Cardamone. “We can place our latest products in the hands of our longstanding supporters, and with so many industry players participating, it’s also a great opportunity to secure new leads and evaluate new partners.”
Cardamone’s upbeat sentiment is shared with Nour Assafiri, the CEO of Martin Professional Middle East, who said its regional business typically grows by 20 per cent every year.
“Martin Professional Middle East is the largest market for (parent company) Harman worldwide,” said Assafiri. “Overall we control almost 80 per cent of the effect lighting market in the UAE, and with ongoing economic development in regional countries, there’s a lot of potential.
“We’re supplying the effects lighting for the Bluewaters Island project, a multi-purpose development for entertainment, hospitality, residential, and retail zones at the end of Jumeirah Beach in Dubai. In Qatar, our focus is on stadiums and arenas, while Saudi is more into stage for auditoriums. It depends from one country to the other.
“The entertainment and lighting market is very important to us, both in the UAE, as well as the wider region,” added Assafiri. We need a professional show such as Prolight + Sound Middle East to meet our existing clients, connect with industry colleagues, and educate the market on our latest products.”
Organised by Messe Frankfurt Middle East, Prolight + Sound Middle East 2016 is the region’s premier international trade and networking event dedicated to technologies and services for the entertainment, events, creation and media industries.
Other big names signing on for the 1st edition of the three-day event include Adam Hall, one of the world’s top 25 manufacturers in professional events technology; NEXT–proaudio from Portugal; US-headquartered Samson Technologies; Bosch, and PAN Beam.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, said: “Prolight + Sound Middle East presents the ideal gateway for international audio-visual and entertainment equipment manufacturers to network and do business with visitors from throughout the wider region, while at the same time learn about the latest trends and requirements of the regional professional AV, lighting, and stage production industries.”
“The Middle East is one of the fastest growing regions in the world for AV products and services. Major infrastructure projects coupled with mega events are fuelling other industries such as hospitality, retail, events and festivals – all of which need the latest in audio-visual technology to enhance the visitor experience,” Pauwels added.
Prolight + Sound Middle East 2016 is expected to feature more than 80 exhibitors, and includes Stage On, an outdoor live demonstration area for PA and AV systems; and Music Corner, a specialised area dedicated to musical instruments and DJ equipment.
The Dubai event is the fifth instalment of the international network of Prolight + Sound events worldwide, and is co-located with Light Middle East 2016, the region’s premier exhibition, conference, and awards for lighting design and technology. More information is available at: www.prolightsoundme.com.