Release Date: 15 January 2007
Release ID: 971
The circus has come to town - thanks to a major GAC Logistics’ operation to bring the acclaimed Cirque du Soleil to the Middle East for the first time.
It took 104 TEUs (total equivalent unit of twenty-foot containers) and a fleet of side loader trucks to execute a turnaround in just 3 nights for GAC Logistics to move the entire circus set for the keenly anticipated performance in Dubai, in conjunction with the city’s Shopping Festival.
In a month-long visual and sensory treat for Dubai audiences, the Cirque du Soleil will perform Quidam at the Ibn Battuta Mall and promises to be one of the most entertaining highlights of the annual event.
Sheer volume and critical timescales
Moving 1,040 tonnes of equipment from the States represented a massive volume for a live show, says Matthew Diggle, Business Manager - Freight Services of GAC Dubai.
"Such a logistics operation demands precision in planning and execution to ensure all the cargo - from the infrastructure for the tent, staging, sound systems to costumes and props - arrive safely at the venue as scheduled," he adds.
Four open-top containers had to be used to move the four marquees for the main tent, and outsized equipment had to be transported in high cube containers. And specialised expertise and tools were needed to handle the unique and often fragile custom-made costumes and props for the show.
"The key challenge was to synchronise the delivery of every single piece of equipment to the venue which could only accommodate one trailer," explains Ronald Dayanand, Operations Manager - Projects, GAC Dubai, who oversees the entire operation. Meticulous planning was made to establish a temporary parking site nearby; thereafter multiple movements were made to the actual event venue.
"We also have to work within the constraints placed by Dubai road restrictions for truck movements and traffic congestions, as well as the limited time window given by the shopping mall so as not to affect the normal business."
Specialist in niche logistics field GAC handles over 95% of the entertainment logistics business in Dubai. The company has established a track record of fast and efficient turnaround for top celebrities’ performance tours as well as special events.
While the show goes on through January, GAC is already making final checks to prepare for the next leg of Cirque du Soleil’s tour to Pusan, Korea, and the team will spring into immediate action once the curtain of the last performance falls.
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