One of the world's most successful vertical trade show series is being brought to the Middle East by IIR Exhibitions.

Pro Audio Light Middle East (Palme) is described as the region's first dedicated professional sound and lighting communication showcase. It will run at the Dubai World Trade Centre from February 16-18 next year.

The show joins a highly successful IIR portfolio of professional sound and lighting trade exhibitions, which includes Pala, Asia's largest entertainment technology event, which alternates between Singapore and Hong Kong, Palmm Philippines, which attracts over 7,000 specialised trade visitors, and Calm China, which spans over 25,000 sq m, boasts over 400 exhibitors and attracts 17,000 visitors, according to IIR.

"Our entertainment technology showcases have been tremendously successful in the Far East and we are now looking to emulate that in the Middle East," says Jessica Sutherland, General Manager, IIR Exhibitions & Conferences.

"In the past, the Middle East market was too small to justify the investment but a huge surge in entertainment, tourism and leisure facilities over the past few years has convinced us the region can now sustain this highly specialised exhibition.

"Our research shows that these industries are set for spiralling growth in the Middle East. Major new tourism and leisure facilities are planned and there's a huge catalogue of investment in entertainment projects resulting from a need to satisfy one of the youngest populations in the world," explains Sutherland.

"We anticipate the show will not only serve the direct needs of the Middle East but, via re-export routes, will tap into substantial demand within the Indian sub-continent and CIS."

Accessing the huge, well-established industry databases of Pala, Palmm and Calm, IIR believes it can attract to Dubai manufacturers, distributors, rental companies and installers of ground-breaking technology.

"Much of this latest technology will not have been seen in the Middle East before," says Iain McLean, project manager, Palme. "It also means professionals working within the Middle East will no longer have to travel the globe to discover the latest developments in their rapidly evolving industry."

Abu Dhabi's Avolites Middle East, one of the region's biggest professional company of equipment for the professional lighting sector, was among the first to reserve space for Palme.

The company's managing director Mohammed Shembish says the show is a long overdue initiative.

"I see this show developing into a major regional forum," says Shembish. "At present, everyone involved in the industry in the Middle East has to travel overseas, to shows like LDI in the US and Plasa in London, to find out what's new in this sector. With Palme, we won't have to travel so far and we'll get a regional perspective, which the other shows can't give us.

"As far as I'm concerned it's about time we had a show like this in the Middle East, although I appreciate the market probably wasn't big enough to warrant it before - but now it is. This is going to be an extremely important exhibition for us and one which will benefit the entire regional industry."

IIR syas it plans to canvass and work with the regional industry to build the most influential Middle East database of key visitors.

"These will include decision-makers, specifiers and buyers of professional audio and lighting technology for the hospitality and entertainment industry, the sports, health and fitness sectors as well as exhibition and event suppliers," adds McLean.

IIR is one of the world's largest exhibition and conference organisers. It has 44 business units worldwide. Together these offices organise more than 3,000 events annually.

In the Middle East, the company's portfolio also includes Middle East Electricity, Arab Health, the Motexha fashion trade fair, Ambiente Arabia, the international gifts and homeware exhibition and Gulf Traffic.