Dubai, UAE: A dazzling awards ceremony, newly inked business partnerships, an insightful conference, and a student showcase are some of the highlights that shone bright as the 11th edition of Light Middle East came to a close in Dubai yesterday (2 November).
The region’s dedicated trade show for the lighting design and technology industry featured 370 exhibitors from 31 countries at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, and drew in 6,642 visitors from 84 countries.
The 19 per cent year-on-year growth in exhibition space occupied, and eight per cent growth in visitor numbers firmly cemented the three-day event’s position as the annual must-attend gathering for the international lighting design community, further underlined by a record turnout of nearly 700 industry professionals at the Light Middle East Awards.
The customary conclusion to Light Middle East, the awards is an annual get-together where the industry recognises and celebrates the most outstanding lighting projects and products throughout the world.
The revamped programme comprised nine project and three product categories, including for the first time, the International Project of the Year, won by Licht Kunst Licht for the Sayn Iron Works in Germany.
Another big winner on the night was CD+M, which took home two accolades; the first for its work on Dubai’s Green Planet in the Innovative Lighting Project of the Year category; the second for its impressive lighting design at The Meraas Outlet Village in the Retail Lighting Project of the Year.
The 4th Light Middle East Awards provided a fitting finale to Light Middle East 2016, where the world’s leading manufacturers of lighting products and solutions showcased their wares to thousands of trade buyers and professionals from throughout the wider region.
Among the exhibitors making the most of their stay was Swiss LED, which signed several major deals during the show. Sjouke De Vries, Managing Director at Swiss LED for the Middle East and Africa, said: “Light Middle East has been incredible for us, and we’ve had a lot of visitor traffic to our booth from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.”
“Our objective to position ourselves as a brand in the market has been successful. We had a lot of concrete leads and even five orders. We can more than cover our costs of exhibiting just from the orders we received at the show.”
Added De Vries: “We see Light Middle East as a launch platform, both for our newest products such as our Swiss Traffic smart street lighting solutions, as well as our new partnerships. We meet the most important people here, and they’re our customers and partners. For us, the show is very important.”
A high profile line-up of 32 lighting designers, architects, developers, and experts also shared their insights into the rich world of architectural lighting and design at the two-day Light Middle East Conference, which took place alongside Light Middle East 2016.
Brett Anderson, Principal Designer for Focus Lighting in the USA, spoke about how LEDs are changing city skylines, referencing the LED screen on the world’s tallest tower, the Burj Khalifa in Dubai as a prime example of how modern lighting technology can transform a building’s façade.
“The Burj Khalifa had beautiful lighting on what was already an amazing building,” said Anderson. “But the LED screen that’s been installed now, which is the largest in the world, completely transforms that façade and shows how lighting can impact and completely change a building of a skyline. As you look at the Burj Khalifa, it dissolves when the video runs, and your imagine runs wild with what you can do with new technology.”
The growing scope and increasing popularity of Light Middle East was emphasised by the addition of two new features in 2016, including the Ready Steady Light, and Light.ication.
Organised in partnership with the Society of Light and Lighting (SLL), Ready Steady Light is one of Britain’s most popular lighting design competitions, with its regional debut at Light Middle East attracting eight teams of designers and manufacturers who installed temporary lighting schemes with provided equipment in just 90 minutes.
Meanwhile, UAE design, architecture, and engineering students shared their visions of light interaction with an eye-opening showcase of artistic and creative designs at the Light.ication Pavilion.
Six teams from various universities presented to thousands of intrigued visitors their lighting installations, created with the expert guidance of professional lighting designers, and using equipment provided by Light Middle East exhibitors. The new initiative was aimed at promoting lighting design through education, giving the designers of tomorrow a platform to help develop their skills in the design profession.
Ahmed Pauwels, CEO of Messe Frankfurt Middle East, the organiser of Light Middle East, said: “Light Middle East 2016 had a bit of everything; a nod to the past with the history of light and how it influences the way we interact with it today; to the present, where it’s impossible to live without it, and a reference to the future, and how it will continue to have a huge impact on our daily lives.
“It was very pleasing to see so many different elements of the show combine to create a highly engaging and interactive platform for the entire lighting design and technology community. While business generation is hugely important at the show, equally important is to create a mood and atmosphere whereby people will want to come back.”
The 12th edition of Light Middle East will take place in November 2017. More information is available at: www.lightme.net.