Roberto Cavalli's crystal opulence in Dubai


We have become accustomed to hyperbole from Dubai; this nascent Hong Kong of the Middle East sports bigger, taller, faster, more opulent examples of just about everything modern life can imagine. And even now, as dark tales of economic inertia and collapse seep out from the mythic Sultanate, one Roberto Cavalli defies the trend, blows away the gloom, and launches a gentleman's club without equal.

The Cavalli Club, bearing the name of the famous Italian fashion designer, staged its grand opening on May the seventh. Extravagant even by the standards of Dubai, this red carpet event had the Worlds' paparazzi scratching for new, ever more potent superlatives with which to describe this thirty million dollar investment in beauty and entertainment. Roberto Cavalli has been involved in every detail; crystal curtains by Swarkovski being just one example of the breath taking opulence this venue affords.

For Triangle Entertainment Services, who won the contract to design and install the audio system, the demands were of the highest order, "Hard work in recent years means we have established a good reputation in Dubai," said Triangle's managing director Zahid R Elian. General Manager of the Cavalli, Mr Khoury could only agree, "We did not hesitate one second to go ahead with Triangle on this project; both their expertise and reliability are unrivalled. Personally I know that Zahid is a man of his word and can deliver."

The owners and operators of the Cavalli, Pragma Group, had specified 'the best system money can buy'. For Triangle this meant only one thing, "a d&b audiotechnik system." Said Elian who oversaw the system design. "There exists, within the master design, a need for many zones, and even sub-zones within them." He explained. "Although the original plan was for a lounge restaurant environment, the desire was embedded that the Cavalli could become a nightclub capable of loud playback or even live performance. For these reasons I needed an integrated solution that could fulfil all these demands and still produce that special sound, 'the best' as Pragma defined it."

Situated within the Fairmount Hotel, the Cavalli comprises a lounge bar; wine bar; DJ bar; VIP lounge with integral sushi bar; and the main restaurant. At their highest the ceilings are six metres above floor level, all spaces are open spans without pillars or other supports. System design was never going to be easy; the restaurant area ceiling alone has literally hundreds of thousands of crystals hanging from it; understandably for reasons of taste and aesthetics no-one wanted the sight of loudspeaker boxes to intrude. Four Q-Series line arrays including Q-SUBs achieved the desired coverage here, avoiding any unwanted excitement of the crystal forest. Elsewhere Mr Elian has drawn upon the E-Series, E12, and E15X-SUBs for the other rooms, with E0s for connecting areas such as corridors and lobby, "We even put loudspeakers in the elevators and bathrooms." Said Elian, "Everywhere a guest of the club could visit we delivered precision audio and beautiful music."

System tuning was accomplished by Chadi, Triangle's d&b trained system engineer; installation was project managed by J Jabbour also of Triangle. Plans are already in train for further Cavalli clubs at prestigious locations around the globe.

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