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Feature: Southern hospitality

Feature: Southern hospitality
BGM in the downstairs restaurant is delivered by four DAS Audio Action 8A active speakers

Feature: Southern hospitality

Dubai’s prestigiously located Kailash Parbat Restaurant unveils a powerful and sensitive audio solution. Richard Lawn investigates

Located on the southern side of Dubai Creek, the 40 restaurants and shops that make up Al Seef is the latest creation of property developer, Meraas. Steeped in history with a large amount of Emirati culture, Meraas has daringly blended a modern and distinctive shipping container-style design and concept along this 1.8km stretch of prime real-estate waterfront. Distancing itself further away from the Dubai of yesteryear, the developer has enforced high standards upon its tenants, including strict building and electrical regulations together with lighting and noise pollution enforcements.

One of the latest restaurants to open is Kailash Parbat. Serving Indian vegetarian cuisine, the spilt-level property managed by KP Hospitality maximises its appeal with an open kitchen dining concept for families downstairs, while a bar entices patrons of a different persuasion with a live house band and DJ. With an outdoor rooftop area adding further diversity, the musical ambience was regarded as a vital part of the furnishings from the outset. As such, Procom Middle East was called upon to fulfil the entertainment technology requirements.

KP Vibes Dubai Click to play video
KP Vibes Dubai

‘The restaurant is spilt into three distinctive zones and there are three main music sources – BGM, live and DJ,’ explains Procom’s technical sales executive, Anro Schroeder. ‘We were tasked to provide a high-power audio system that would be sleek and elegant in its design. While providing more of a club feel upstairs, we had to be mindful that the neighbours, including the Saudi Arabian consulate, may not want to share the same audio and lighting experience as the patrons.’

Effectively, Procom designed and installed a 3x3 matrix for outputting audio from the live stage, the DJ or BGM source to the upstairs indoor and outdoor areas in addition to the main restaurant. A Symetrix Jupiter 4 DSP system lies at its heart, which can be interfaced in terms of source selection and level by the restaurant manager from an ARC-2e wall controller on each level. In addition, a patch panel in the downstairs restaurant integrates two XLR inputs and a Cat-6 connection in addition to redundant slots. Amphenol connectors and Reference Laboratories cabling was used throughout.

The diners downstairs are catered for aurally by a BGM solution courtesy of four DAS Audio Action 8A active loudspeakers. ‘Space is limited,’ explains Schroeder. ‘Ultimately, we decided to provide an active 2-way speaker solution that bypassed the need for amplifiers or subwoofers.’ Fixed at even intervals above the diners’ tables, the compact 9.9kg cabinets can deceptively deliver 120dB SPL. But it’s doubtful that Kailash Parbat will ever push the 8-inch speakers to their limits as they are limited to 80–85dB SPL so as to not spill out onto the Creek walkway.

If the dining room represents the day, the short journey upstairs reveals a system built for the night. Here, a Mumbai five-piece band including a flautist, keyboardist, guitarist and percussionist perform nightly from a Eurotruss stage. Monitored from Action 8A speakers and mixed on a Behringer X32 Producer console, the resultant mix can be patched downstairs or outdoors via the Behringer S16 stagebox.

K-array loudspeaker systems have been selected for the indoor and outdoor zones. Within the club, DJs presiding over the Pioneer DDJ-SZ2 decks and live performers are reinforced by four ceiling-fixed KX12 coaxial speakers thundered in the low frequencies to 30Hz by a pair of floor-standing KMT21 21-inch subwoofers.

The outdoor balcony offers a panoramic vista of Dubai Creek
The outdoor balcony offers a panoramic vista of Dubai Creek

However, a more sensitive solution was required outdoors and, as such, five KK52 speakers fixed onto trusses by clamps are boosted by a pair of KMT18 subwoofers to provide the perfect accompaniment to spice, beer and tobacco. Weighing just 2.3kg, the 500mm-high column KK52s incorporate eight 2-inch drivers providing full-range output down to 180Hz before the KMT18s take control of the lower frequencies. Located in the DJ booth, the upstairs passive speaker system is powered by single K-array Kommander-KA24 and -KA84 amplifiers. ‘Should the owners wish to expand this current system, these two amplifiers still possess spare channels,’ adds Schroeder.

In terms of lighting, Procom Middle East has installed a dazzling effect of moving heads into the ceiling of the live venue. A Titan One lighting controller manages the four Cyclops Lighting Sparkly Wash 19 LEDs, four beams, four CPX32 moving heads and dual LED Fresnel 40s recessed into the ceiling. ‘The false ceiling was lowered more than we desired so we had to ask the contractor to raise it by 150mm,’ explains Schroeder. ‘We then gained another 150mm in height by recessing each fixture into the ceiling to obtain the desired lighting ambience.’

The upstairs live venue is equipped with four K-array KX12 coaxial speakers
The upstairs live venue is equipped with four K-array KX12 coaxial speakers

‘Ultimately, we were working late on Christmas Eve, ready to open for the final festive and New Year’s celebrations’, concludes Schroeder. ‘Despite the red tape we encountered and frustrations, however, the Procom team has been more than vindicated by the end result. Combining powerful with sensitive was quite a balancing act.’

Outdoors, 10 Cyclops CP416s, five LED200s and five Sparkly Wash 19 moving heads are fixed onto rising trusses to create a mesmerising effect within the 100m2 space. ‘We had to limit the 180° rotation capability of these moving heads in addition to ensuring that only one colour at a time is portrayed. As designers, we had to provide the lighting designs in Capture to Meraas beforehand in addition to EASE simulations. Meraas, quite rightly, were very exacting with us on this job as they set higher standards for their projects within the Emirate.

This article was first published in the March-April 2019 edition of Pro AVL MEA magazine. Subscribe at

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