SLS, one of the major rental and technical production companies in the UAE, has recently made a substantial investment in Robe – an initial purchase of 50 x MegaPointes last year was followed by 86 Spiider LED wash beams earlier this year, then 24 x regular Pointes and a pair of DL4S Profiles for a specific job … and they expect this business to continue!
Martin Luiz started the company 22 years ago in Dubai to provide full technical production management and design services – combined or individually as required – to a range of different events.
Luiz is a shrewd operator and has built his business steadily based on being imaginative and delivering high quality results with outstanding technical expertise.
SLS provides equipment for all major disciplines – lighting, sound, video rigging and staging – and there are currently around 130 full-time employees, all dedicated to working, mainly on a mix of corporate and industrial shows across the UAE and in neighbouring GCC countries like KSA, Oman, Kuwait and others.
Serious expansion in the last couple of years has led to an imminent major relocation of all the current warehouse facilities and the main office into one central hub, a brand-new all-encompassing business premises in the DIP (Dubai Investments Park) area.
The Robe investment was triggered by the frequency of Robe now being requested on artists and band riders and / or LD’s specifications. “There is a clear trend for using a range of Robe moving lights and we need to be on top of this,” stated Martin.
In addition to the demand for Robe, he has always enjoyed a good relationship with Robe Middle East’s GM Elie Battah – well before he was even thinking about buying Robe!
“Efficient and personable service with attention to detail is really important,” he emphasises, “but more than that, to be able to commit to long term commercial relationships you have to like and respect the people involved, and I feel very comfortable dealing with Elie.”
There were a few other influencers in the Robe decision as well.
Darion Garisch is SLS’s head of lighting. When he arrived from South Africa to take up the post in January 2018, he immediately mentioned Robe as having an excellent product range, being great value for money as well as innovative and reliable!
Since then, Darion and Praveen Jayakumar (Lighting HOD Operations) have specified Robe onto many Expo 2020 projects on which they are involved. As well as the lighting designers, SLS’s technicians and crew love having the Robes onboard, confirms senior lighting operator George Gilfillan, who is also from South Africa.
All of this has helped underline Martin’s decision to switch to Robe as the right move to make!
SLS’s lighting fixtures have been used on numerous shows including concerts by international artists in Saudi Arabia – Mariah Carey, Tiesto, Sean Paul, Back Street Boys and more – and for the Gov (Government) Games Opening Ceremony at the NAS Sports Complex, and events for Dubai Fitness and Huawei in Burj Park, commented Edwin Cheeran, SLS’s Managing Director.
“The Spiiders are a fantastic day-to-day fixture for any event, large or small,” enthuses Luiz, and talking more generally about Robe he and his colleagues commented that they felt Robe was definitely a “market leading” moving light brand that currently stands out.
Ed Jarman, the company’s sales Director, emphasised having the latest ‘hot’ technologies on board was essential to impress clients and offer the best service for events and artists coming from the US, Europe and other parts of the world. “We have a reputation for producing world-class events here in Dubai, so we need to offer the kit that everyone is specifying!”
The UAE and Middle East generally are growing markets for Robe. Looking ahead, apart from the 2020 Expo in Dubai which is causing plenty of chatter and excitement, the SLS team reckon KSA is opening up - having recently completed 15 shows, mostly international concerts - there during a normally quiet period. There are also many other potential ‘horizon’ opportunities.