Dubai, UAE: Key decision makers from the Middle East tourism, entertainment, event, media and creation industries are gathering in Dubai for the 2nd edition of Prolight + Sound Middle East, which got off to a flying start today (17 October).
The dedicated industry trade fair runs until 19 October at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, where a series of product launches, a brand new conference, and technical certification courses are sharing centre stage.
A key focal point this year is the inaugural Events Technology & Entertainment Development Forum, where more than 23 thought leaders and government representatives are sharing their ideas on how the UAE and the wider region can continue its rise as a major destination for large scale entertainment, sporting, business and cultural events.
At the same time, industry heavyweights such as Robe, Sennheiser, Monacor International, Bose, Bosch, and Dynacord are among the 80-plus brands from 11 countries showcasing their latest wares for technology-hungry end-users, distributors, integrators, and consultants.
“Prolight + Sound Middle East 2017 arrives as Dubai confirms its status as a major player in the global entertainment and live events industries,” said Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Prolight + Sound Middle East.
“A year has passed since the opening of Dubai Opera, the Gulf region’s only opera venue, while August 2017 saw the launch of La Perle by Dragone, described as one of the most incredible shows on Earth.
“The region offers a wide variety of projects – large and small, standard and more idiosyncratic – covering a diverse range of areas and disciplines. Through all of these, there is a constant emphasis on quality.
“At Prolight + Sound Middle East, there’re plenty of new solutions on show equipping industry professionals with the tools to continue delivering world-class events, from stage lighting, portable loudspeakers and AV systems to special effects or digital multimedia, and much more.”
The 1st Events Technology and Entertainment Development Forum, which opened today, brings together leading private sector stakeholders and government representatives to discuss trends and strategies in developing world class events and iconic attractions that drive tourism and long-term growth.
The two-day conference commenced with a panel discussion attended by Haitham Mattar, CEO of Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, Issam Kazim, CEO of Dubai Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM), and Sultan Al Dhaheri, the Acting Executive Director of Tourism for the Abu Dhabi Department of Culture and Tourism.
The three UAE tourism Chiefs discussed what factors are instrumental in shaping cultural projects from a government perspective. Issam Kazim said: “Entertainment and culture are the cornerstones of Dubai’s tourism offering; 2016 alone saw the launch of a whole host of new attractions such as IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dubai Opera and Dubai Parks and Resorts including Legoland Dubai, all of which have contributed greatly towards the city’s overall appeal.
“The launch of Saruq Al Hadid Archaeological Museum in 2016, followed by the opening of Etihad Museum at the start of this year, have also added important cultural attractions to the city’s proposition, enabling visitors to learn more about Dubai and the region’s unique history.
“Audio-visual solutions play a crucial role in bringing these attractions to life, and creating truly immersive experiences for visitors. The stirring soundtracks in the background of the majestic Dubai Fountains and the visual effects with each note add to the overall performance, captivating the hearts of residents and tourists alike.
“Dubai is continuing to drive innovation in this field, and with more exciting developments in the pipeline, the city is looking forward to seeing further advances in audio-visual technology,” Kazim added.
Al Dhaheri added: “As a 21st-century city, founded on tradition and heritage yet forged by rapid modernity, Abu Dhabi’s cultural identity is built on the intersection of preservation and development for the future.
“As we develop world-class tourist experiences that are also leading international cultural institutions, such as Saadiyat Cultural District, it’s crucial that we engage in the transfer of knowledge and experience with our peers.
“Technology also plays a large role in all our visitor experience platforms – our existing and future museums, for example – allowing for further interactivity and engagement. This is an area in which we’re always looking to build and develop to ensure that the experiences on offer to visitors to Abu Dhabi are ahead of the curve.”
Haitham Mattar also spoke about the importance culture plays in adding to the attractiveness of a destination: “Ras Al Khaimah offers a history dating back more than 7,000 years and this is a key feature in all of our promotional efforts when showcasing the emirate to our core and emerging markets,” he said.
“The emirate’s authentic and accessible culture and hospitality extends further than our hotels, with visitors able to visit traditional date farms and learn how honey is harvested in the mountains.
“Through various events we organise across Ras Al Khaimah, cultural activities are included where possible, whether it be a traditional tribal dance, or cooking stations with local delicacies. In addition the emirate features an array of archaeological sites and breath-taking natural vistas, from golden sand beaches and awe-inspiring terracotta dunes to a green belt of date palms and Jebel Jais, the UAE’s highest peak.”
Meanwhile on the exhibition floor, German company MONACOR INTERNATIONAL returned to Prolight + Sound Middle East in 2017 to launch its latest range of PA, stage and event technologies, including speakers, amplifiers, and mixers.
Marco Willroth, Executive Managing Director at MONACOR INTERNATIONAL, said the company is eager to build on the successful outcomes of the debut show last year.
“The Middle East has great economic potential, and we’d like to further extend our presence in the region and react upon the strong demand for professional PA technology as well as stage and event technology,” said Willroth.
“Our competitive portfolio offers promising possibilities in the fields of sports, entertainment, conference technology, hotels and leisure. Thanks to last year’s Prolight + Sound Middle East, we were able to strengthen and expand our network of partners, and as a result, some Middle East projects already feature products and technologies from MONACOR.”
Commenting on the latest trends in the market, Willroth added: “Digitalisation is continuously moving forward, and audio over IP systems or easy-to-use plug-and-play solutions also become a more and more popular solution in the field of professional PA applications.
“The times when customers just bought products are definitely over, especially in the fields of PA technology, and the requests for medium-sized and larger projects increase continuously and the challenges become more and more complex.”
Other exhibitors launching new products at Prolight + Sound Middle East include FBT, Madrix, Electro-Voice, and Prolyte Group, while new this year is the Dante Certification Training programme on the final day (19 October), providing an easy way for system designers, engineers and other industry professionals to learn about the Dante digital media networking systems, with in-depth training and promote their expertise.
Prolight + Sound Middle East is the fifth instalment of the international network of Prolight + Sound events worldwide, and is co-located with Light Middle East 2017, the region’s dedicated exhibition, conference, and awards for lighting design and technology. More information is available at: www.prolightsoundme.com.