A race to the finishing line: Unusual Rigging & Engineering work with Artists in Motion at Dubai World Cup

19th April 2023

The Dubai World Cup is one of the most prestigious horse races in the world and marks the end of the Dubai racing season.  To mark this occasion, each year the Dubai Racing Club stage a lavish closing ceremony.  This year Artists in Motion (AIM), were contracted to deliver a show that was to be bigger than any ceremony to date.  The show included Video, Lighting, Sound, 1900 UAV drones, aerobatic planes & pyrotechnics, and Unusual Rigging & Engineering (URE) was on hand to provide structure and rigging to support the main screen and lighting fixtures. 

Liz Goodyer executive producer, AIM said: “Our brief was to support a large LED screen with minimal visually intrusive rigging but maximum safety.  AIM and our team have not worked directly with URE before, however we have worked alongside them on many international events and their reputation precedes them, so we were thrilled to be able to work together on this project.”

Liz continued: “With the audience onsite during the day, it was important to our client to not have the visual of intrusive structures around the racecourse.  It was vital to maintain a clear line of sight for the race caller from the main stand to the far side of the track.  This meant the screen had to be held in a low position, during the day and only reveal its full height just prior to the ceremony commencing. The UREteam was instrumental in making this happen.”

Work began on-site on March 6, following the conclusion of the last race meeting, to install test and rehearse all systems.

Nick Newey, technical director at AIM commented: “URE set out a schedule of work to achieve the timeline and they stayed right on track throughout the build and dismantle. The original plan was to use a mesh projection surface. We’d used this on previous large events, however we tested the system in situ at Meydan and the amount of ambient light from the stadium and city surround washed out the projection and did not achieve the desired effect.  So, 2 months of planning and engineering was thrown out and we had 2 weeks to completely re-design the system.”

Liz added: “URE pulled out all the stops, worked overtime and weekends to take our revised plans and design and engineer the system in record time, bringing great peace of mind to the AIM team.”

Richard Hoare, project manager, URE explained: “To meet this last minute brief, we had four engineers working full time to devise an 11th hour solution that would support, lift and lower an 18 tonne LED screen, measuring 20m x 13m, for the show’s content. We also used a significant amount of 52B truss as well as 18 Kinesys hoists and worked with the screen supplier to ensure the screen could be installed quickly and safely.”

AIM’s client, Dubai Racing Club has very high expectations, and was initially disappointed that the original ‘Hologram’ effect couldn’t be delivered. However they were very happy with the replacement technology which brought greater luminosity and a larger canvas to work with, to deliver this huge, bright and spectacular event.

Nick concluded: “We would like to thank Richard and the whole URE team for their fast & efficient work.  They were an absolute pleasure to work with, they worked to the schedule and provided clear feedback on how the project was progressing and any challenges they had.  They worked collaboratively with all contractors to ensure we had an efficient, happy and safe work site. We look forward to the opportunity to collaborate with the team again in the future.”

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