While the global economic downturn continues to impact markets across the Middle East, the professional AV install sector – particularly in the major hubs of Abu Dhabi and Dubai – is maintaining steady growth, largely thanks to continued infrastructure investments in both emirates.
Developments such as Yas Island, which incorporates the landmark Abu Dhabi Formula 1 racetrack and various hospitality venues, and the forthcoming Al Maktoum International Airport and Dubailand in the neighbouring emirate of Dubai, provide cause for optimism that the best days are yet ahead for international AV technology developers and their local install partners in the UAE.
Recently completed projects such as Dubai International Airport Terminal 3, Dubai Mall, Dubai Sports City and Emaar’s downtown precinct incorporating the world’s tallest building, Burj Dubai, are stunning examples of cutting-edge commercial AV technologies in practice.
Dubai Mall for one features one of the world’s largest installations of LED display products.
Equipped with more than 570 square metres of Barco-developed LED screens valued at around US$30 million, the project took out this year’s Sound & Stage award for best AV installation.
The facility also hosts the landmark Dubai Aquarium, which features a lighting installation developed by acclaimed American designer Ted Ferreira of CD+M Lighting Design Group.
The aquarium’s extensive lighting array leverages an innovative ‘lunar-cyclic’ lighting system that alters the lit ambience of the facility depending on the time of day.
The installation, which was completed by Dubai-based AV integrator Oasis Enterprises, was honoured with this year’s S&S award for best lighting installation project.
Speaking of Oasis, the company last month signalled its intention in the AV install market with the appointment of a dedicated architectural lighting division manager.
David Gray, formerly of ETC, will pursue new architectural lighting opportunities for the company, particularly in the UAE’s theme park and consumer entertainment sectors, which largely remain on track despite the recession.
Ongoing developments such as these should prove the lifeblood of a sector which has long been overshadowed by the arguably more glamorous live events market in the Arab world’s second largest economy.