Qatari weddings are among the most decadent and luxurious you will ever come across, so we were delighted to be invited to create a little bit of magic for a special couple in Qatar in 2021. Our brief was to install a roof structure (a 10m high, 38m diameter umbrella-style roof, called a Skyliner) and lighting over a huge temporary ice rink.
This being 2021, the pandemic postponed the wedding plans several times. Once Qatar lifted the regulations against outdoor events, the client decided to go ahead with the wedding in the backyard of their villa.
As the wedding was taking place in a residential area, it was a challenge to bring in the big equipment that was required. The villa’s garden was full of palm trees which couldn’t be cut down, so the roof structure had to be higher than is typically required. This made the operation even tougher as big pieces of equipment had to be lifted in.
At the time the wedding was taking place, we still had strict Covid rules and regulations in place. We had to work in small groups due to social distancing, and many of our team and usual freelancers were in their home countries, unable to travel.
We carried out an intensive cross-training programme so that our remaining team members could perform all the required tasks. Our audio technicians undertook rigging training, and our warehouse and logistics team jumped headfirst into the project. For a few days, the ES:ME office was completely empty, as everyone we employed was onsite.
The client was extremely pleased with the outcome: we helped create a beautiful ice rink in a backyard in the middle of the desert for a wedding taking place during a pandemic! As well as being a good result for the client, this was a well-timed project for our team, too. After all the uncertainty caused by the pandemic, it revived our team morale, leaving everyone excited and enthusiastic about the start of a new era.