The inaugural Sound & Stage Awards were staged recently in Dubai, marking a major milestone for the Middle East pro audio, lighting and live staging production industries.
More than 200 leading industry identities converged on the city's Al Murooj Rotana Hotel to celebrate the event and to honour the work of the regional industry's top professionals.
Emirates Palace was the big winner on the night, with its flagship auditorium facility beating Dubai-based rivals Madinat Jumeirah's Madinat Theatre and Al Sahra Desert Resort to the coveted title of GCC venue of the year. The hotel's AV manager Joel Crasta was also named hospitality AV manager of the year.
Local industry identity Andy Jackson of Delta Sound took out the sound engineer of the year award, while Dubai-based companies Protec and Venuetech were named equipment rental firm of the year and distributor of the year respectively.
Mirage Promotions took out the promoter of the year category, while top Dubai-based hospitality venues Chillout Bar and Plan B were recognised for their innovative sound and lighting installations in the AV install of the year category.
One of the world's leading technical training service providers, SAE Institute, was honoured with the inaugural Sound & Stage services to the industry award, in recognition of its efforts to nurture the development of young talent eager to break into the region's professional AV and live events production sectors.
The gala ceremony was a fitting tribute to the success enjoyed by the local live events production industry in 2007. For the full list of winners and images from the night, visit www.itp.net/events/sasawards
The Sound & Stage Awards will return bigger and even better in 2009. Keep an eye out for further details on the awards website in the coming months.
Kelly Lewis is the editor of Sound & Stage Middle East.