SMG Lands Dubai Venue

SMG has been awarded pre-opening services and a 10-year contract to manage the Palladium in the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai, giving the facility management company a solid foothold in one of the world’s emerging markets.

The venue, to be built in Dubai Media City, is expected to open in 2007. It is a joint venture between SMG and International Communications & Entertainment, a company based in Dubai with principal sponsor Sheikh Khalid Bin Ahmend Al Hamad.

Located in the United Arab Emirates, Dubai Media City operates a “free zone” that is home to numerous international tech firms. It also houses sporting events including the PGA’s Dubai Desert Classic golf tourney and ATP Tennis tournaments.

Dubai is one of the few nations in the Middle East that routes concerts and other touring events.

The Palladium will be a multipurpose venue and the first of its kind in the emirate, featuring 4,000 mobile seats designed to roll out, creating free-standing space for up to 9,000.

“We are extremely excited for this opportunity in Dubai. It is a country of unique culture and is rapidly becoming a major center of international commerce and real estate development,” SMG President Wes Westley said. “This opportunity is another example of SMG’s commitment to international growth.”

Dubai’s current population of 1.8 million is expected to double in size within the next five years. One attractive demographic feature for internationally touring artists is that 70 percent of that population is between the ages of 15 and 40, according to SMG.

“This region is a growing market for talent,” SMG senior VP Mike Evans said. “Several talent agencies have already expressed interest and we look forward to working with them and booking exceptional shows in Dubai.”