The momentum of this year's PALME Middle East expo (May 20-22, Dubai International Exhibition Centre), looks certain to establish it as the world's largest integrated technology forum.

Dubai show set to become largest integrated technology forum

The momentum of this year's PALME Middle East expo (May 20 -22, Dubai International Exhibition Centre), looks certain to establish it as the world's largest integrated technology forum.

Already set within five, carefully zoned halls are three distinct vertical exhibitions. Organisers IIR Entertainment & Installation Technology Group believe that by embracing a wide universe of technology application - spanning architectural lighting and audio visual contracting, live event technology and staging, home automation and musical instruments - it will create a synergy that offers visitors a unique choice, and exhibitors an opportunity to address new and existing markets.

Group Exhibitions Director, Darren Brechin, says that education will be a recurring theme. The Dubai Music Appreciation Week, designed to encourage youngsters to take up an instrument, will run prior to the event, and interface with the MUSAC vertical show, which in addition to musical instruments will again host a DJ competition.

And in deference to the growing scale of architectural projects being tendered in the Middle East, Install @ PALME will be staging the inaugural Middle East Lighting Design Awards (MELDA), which represents a unique opportunity for the region to recognise and celebrate the achievements of the world's leading lighting designers. Winners of MELDA (which includes the Middle East Lighting Designer of the Year), will be presented at an extravagant Gala dinner held at the Al Murooj Rotana Hotel in Dubai on May 21.

Additionally, MELDA is endorsed by the world renowned lighting designer Jonathan Speirs of Speirs and Major Associates, who will also present 'Made of Light - the Art of Light and Architecture' in Install Middle East's Architectural Lighting and Interior Illumination zone.

Finally, a seminar programme running throughout the duration of Install Middle East, will incorporate a day of 'Lighting Masterclasses', given by some of the world's most renowned lighting experts.

Darren Brechin says that it has been the expansion of the installation sector - now divided into three halls - which has largely contributed to PALME Middle East's extraordinary growth in the five years since its inauguration. "Install is now responsible for 50% of the show," he confirms.

Charting PALME's development he states, "The original show was fragmented, with just a few largely local distributors exhibiting. But we quickly consolidated this with the result that many major manufacturers, sensing the show's international appeal, are now taking, and in many cases doubling their stand space.

"Furthermore, sub -branding the installation technologies sector of the show to Install Middle East has enabled us to attract architects and consultants by sending out specific tailored messages."

This strategic change recognised that much of the business conducted in the UAE is project -based. "Most of the consultants are based locally and although the region is relatively small, some of the contracts from a monetary perspective are huge."

As such PALME has recognised that the Install Middle East sector could no longer remain a generic 'catch -all' title.

"It has outgrown the original model," Brechin stated. Today the show represents a 50/50 split between Entertainment (sound and light, events and MI) and Commercial Projects (integrated audio -visual). The residential market, he says, is also growing exponentially, due to the high degree of disposable income in the UAE.

Both Darren Brechin and PALME Middle East Exhibition Manager, Jonathan Gadalla, believe that the show's year -on -year 25% growth in stand space will be matched by a broadening visitor base. "There's now more incentive for people to travel," believes Gadalla. "While we have consolidated the local market, we now expect to see increased traffic from the GCC and Saudi as well as Iran, Qatar and Kuwait. We are also getting a lot of interest from the North African countries, such as Lebanon and Libya, and even as far afield as Afghanistan. And as far as export markets go, we are now able to collect a lot of data about the surrounding territories."

Directly under Gadalla's supervision, Event 360 (one of the fast -expanding vertical shows) will provide an opportunity for marketing and production companies seeking to stage events in the Middle East as local hotels and conference centres show off their facilities for staging events in the Dubai Venue pavilion.

Finally, the decision by IIR Entertainment & Installation Technology Group to homogenise the company's exhibitions in Asia, India and the Middle East under the common branding of PALME Exhibitions, has brought a well -received streamlining to proceedings, believes Darren Brechin. "Our market often didn't realise that the same people were running these different shows, and once the organisation got bigger it was vital that we centralised the operation. From a sales point of view it means we can package things a lot more quickly; it also means that exhibitors - wherever they are - only have to pick up the phone and speak to one person."


Further information contact:

Jerry Gilbert JGP Public Relations
Tel: +44 (0)1707 258525
Mob: +44 (0)7770 233091
Fax: +44 1707 267140

Angelina Stojsavljevic
Group Marketing Manager, IIR
Tel: +971 4 4072535
Mob: +971 50 6762753
Fax: +971 4 3364006

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