DUBAI. MAY 08, 2013: The professional sound and light industry in the Middle East is on course for a resurgent 2013 thanks to new budgets being made available for extravagant launch events and parties.
Before the region was hit by the global financial crisis, no expense was spared when launching a new product, venture or venue into the Gulf marketplace.
Even a modest event could cost around AED 10 million with the grandest set-ups coming in at more than AED 250 million.
But following the downturn this was one of the first budgets to be slashed – with the professional sound and light industry suffering as large orders for everything from laser show equipment to state-of-the-art sound systems.
Now senior sound and light leaders say 2013 is on course to beat the glory days with launch event budgets being increased across the region.
Stephen Lakin is Chief Executive at Dubai-based Production Technology (Protec), which is one of the world's biggest distributors of professional sound and light equipment.
He said: “The Middle East is now very buoyant once again. The figures show that as when the financial crisis hit our annual turnover went to AED 27 million, but this year it's predicted to be more than AED 100 million.”
'One-off shows are now also often larger here than in the rest of the world, thanks to the budgets that exist.
“Everyone needs to be careful to avoid mistakes of the past but the industry is looking forward to a bright future.”
This upturn in fortunes will be seen when the world's professional sound and light heavy weights meet for PALME Middle East at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre from 21st-23rd May.
Visitors will be able to see the latest equipment from the biggest names and also take a look at new brands and innovations coming into the market.
Exhibitors include ROBE, whose lighting displays and projectors are used at the region's biggest shows and events.
“We will be unveiling some great new products, including a state-of-the-art projector and a new lighting set up that really fit with the resurgent market. PALME will be very exciting this year.”