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PALME Middle East celebrates a decade of success

His Highness Sheikh Majid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum officially opened this year's show yesterday, marking the 10th anniversary of this key event.

Around 200 exhibitors from across the globe have descended on the Dubai International Conference & Exhibition Centre for this year’s PALME Middle East, with several reporting the signing of new distribution agreements and others predicitng potential sales to new customers. 

Major names, including Extron, Tannoy and Robe, are showing new technology for the first time in the region at what is now the longest running exhibition of its kind in the Midlle East.

“This year we are proud to be celebrating the 10th anniversary of PALME Middle East,” said exhibition director Richard Brook. “2012 is all about recognising advances in the industry over the past decade.”

In those 10 years, the Middle East has seen a rise and fall in economic fortunes. But, adds Brook, the greatest boost to the show has been given by the recovery in the local economy after the downturn in the construction boom, with knock-on effects for the installation sector in both residential and commercial properties.

“This is looking more optimistic now with a renewal of postponed projects coming back on line,” he said. “The GCC region has recovered much more quickly than most.” The event side is also looking positive with the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar and a renewed event calendar in the UAE (including Volvo Ocean Race, Jazz Festival, concerts with major global artists such as Madonna) overcoming the odds.
On the showfloor, Bose, Meyer Sound and Tannoy are all presenting new audio systems to the area, with Tannoy having played some part in each show since its inception 10 years ago. 

The Scotland-based manufacturer is appearing alongside TC Group family members Lab.gruppen and Lake for the first time at the show. The TC Group is also introducing its new Applications Engineers and Training (AET) group to the Middle East.

Among the products making a first appearance in the Middle East region is Tannoy’s VLS (Vertical Line Source) passive column range. Designed for architectural install applications, the VLS uses transducer technology adapted from Tanny’s QFlex steerable column range. Flanagan adds: “Despite the growth in areas such as Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, Dubai remains the commercial business hub for the region, and the Middle East represents a significant part of Tannoy’s turnover.” The company will also be showcasing VX and VXP Series, the latter of which feature Lab.gruppen’s new IDEEA ((Intelli-Drive Energy Efficient Amplifier) power module.

The Lake standalone digital processor is also be making its first appearance in the region, and will feature as part of the Lab.gruppen offering. Also on the Lab.gruppen stand is the new installation E Series high-efficiency amplifier range, as well as the PLM Series (which incorporates Lake Processing). Meyer Sound is introducing its self-powered 1100-LFC loudspeaker to the Middle East for the first time. The device features a low-frequency control element that has a sonic linearity with an operating range of 28Hz to 100Hz. “In the Middle East, there is no lack of ambition to create the largest and most sophisticated spectacles and installations. Since Meyer Sound first exhibited at PALME Middle East six years ago, the presence of our products in these world-class projects has grown significantly in Dubai, Qatar and beyond,” said Mauricio Saint Martin, director of Middle East sales for Meyer Sound. 

On Bose UAE Trading’s booth is the new RoomMatch series of array module loudspeakers and PowerMatch PM8500 configurable professional power amplifiers from Bose Professional Systems Division. Designed for fixed installations, the modules use RoomMatch waveguide technology, which is claimed to overcome the acoustic performance limitations of conventional line-array and point-source loudspeakers and are available in 15 coverage patterns.

NMK Electronics, the Dubai-based UAE distributor for Midas which has recently been named Distributor of the Year by the company, is presenting the all new PRO2, PRO2C and PRO9 digital systems from Midas. 
 Brook rounds up the importance of the audio offering: “With the market now expanding beyond Dubai, the GCC countries offer enormous potential for high premium installed sound, which is clearly being recognised by these companies and other global pro-audio providers.”

Lighting will also play an integral part of this year’s PALME. Exhibitor Robe’s regional sales manager Elie Battah said: “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.” 

The company is highlighting its energy-efficient Robin range, consisting of the MMX Spot, Robin 300, 600 and 1200 LED Wash. All of the range uses high-powered RGBW LEDs; and the DLX model is said to be the world’s first RGBW LED Spot moving head.

Clay Paky is showing its Sharpy – a miniature beam light – as well as its Alpha Spot HPE 1500, Alpha Wash 1500 and Alpha Profile 1500. The Alpha Wash 1500 incorporates a comprehensive colour generation system, an extra wide 11º – 74º zoom range and a combinable CMY system. Featuring a patented framing system, the Alpha Profile 1500 can produce a professional beam that encompasses a 1:9 ration zoom. The company is also unveiling its LED range for the first time in the region.

On the stand of Martin Professional’s exclusive distributors Venutech is the new MacViper moving head, MAC III AirFX mid-air effects luminaire and M2GO lighting console. The MAC III AirFX is part of Martin’s 1,500W range, among its features is a 9in clear, precision PC lens, an optional Fresnel lens and CMY color mixing plus color wheel. 

Display technology is also featuring in Dubai with Prysm showcasing its TD1 scalable and eco-friendly videowall tile at the show. Visitors also have the opportunity to see a 6 x 4 videowall, alongside one of Prysm’s digital mannequin displays. 
 Steve Scorse, vice president of Prysm EMEA, concludes: “PALME is an excellent platform for us to showcase the TD1 tile to the Middle East market, and it is a region where we are already actively engaging in some high-profile projects. We see the UAE as a core market for Prysm technology, and we’re looking forward to meeting up with more integrators and partners and showcasing the technology again this year.”