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Unusual Rigging & Engineering fits out Abu Dhabi's Laureus awards ceremony

February 2011

The annual Laureus World Sports Awards provide a high profile focus as stars of the sporting world come together to salute the finest sports performances of the year. And on hand to help make sure this year's show, at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi, looked amazing was Unusual Rigging & Engineering's team from the next-door emirate of Dubai.

With a brief to create an award ceremony that was bigger, better and more dynamic than ever before, production company Done and Dusted designed a set that comprised several large LED screens, two of which tracked across the stage. Leon Ingram, project manager for Unusual Rigging & Engineering, explains: "The auditorium at Emirates Palace has no loading capacity from the roof, so in order to track the screens across the stage we had to build a ground support system. With a span of 22m, the system also had to provide support for a large 9 ton LED screen at the back of the stage.

"The height of luxury, the Emirates Palace is unlike any other hotel and conference centre. We had to be extremely careful to preserve the building and not damage any of the fixtures and fittings. Providing the grid for the lighting bars and supported by six 15m towers, the whole structure was only 50mm short of the auditorium's roof."

"Movement for the screens was provided by six variable speed Kinesys winches. All the programming and testing was done by Paul Taylor, who joined our crew from Unusual Rigging in the UK and helped oversee the project with me," continues Leon.

Line producer for Done and Dusted, Rebecca Mount, adds: "The most difficult part of the brief was to execute the moving of the screens, which Unusual Rigging & Engineering seemed to take in their stride. They quickly took on board everything that needed to happen and most importantly made it work. We've worked with them before, and trust them to come up with brilliant, innovative solutions. Leon Ingram was great to work with and made everything so easy.

"We're really looking forward to working with Unusual again."

Video of part of the Laureus World Sport Awards show can be seen online at which shows the giant rear screen and also the screens track across the stage as the awards presenters emerge from behind. The technical director on behalf of Done and Dusted was Bernie Kearns. More information about the awards themselves can be found at

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