More than 200 Martin Audio speakers, spanning many of their front-line ranges, have been installed throughout a massive new beach club leisure complex in Dubai. Bla Bla features 20 bars, a beach club and three restaurants (as well as sound stages) all under one roof and is the first independent property in the area licensed for alcohol.
Set on 100,000 sq ft of beach-front, in the fashionable Jumeirah Beach Resort (JBR), overlooking Bluewaters and the Big Wheel, Bla Bla is the brainchild of CEO Mohammad Islam. He worked alongside co-founder Steve Taylor from Autus Partners Management Consultancy, who masterminded the design and managed the project.
The Martin Audio solution was specified by design consultant, Bengan Hovgard, from Loud and Clear Audio Visual, and installed by Pulse Middle East. Pulse operations director, Greg Brown, said, “We have worked a lot with Bengan, and he is familiar with CDD and its performance.”
Stating his rationale, Hovgard himself said, “I chose Martin Audio because the brand is well supported in the region. The CDD range was suitable for this project as it is available in both indoor and outdoor version which enabled us to achieve the same look and sound throughout the venue. The CDD range also provided the best coverage for some of the narrower terraces and balconies in the venue.”
Pulse first visited the site back in June and were awarded the audio contract the following month. “From then on, it was a fairly fast-fit process between August and December,” he stated.
The consultant and integrators have dipped heavily into the Martin Audio catalogue, deploying many CDD6 but also CDD8, CDD10, CDD12 and CDD15. All outdoor areas, or those exposed to the elements feature the ‘WR’ weatherised versions. Also in the outdoor areas, SX118 provides LF reinforcement at the pool stage with SX112 doing likewise in the surround areas.
Further quantities of Martin Audio ADORN A55 are mounted in ancillary areas and some on the cabanas outside. C4.8T ceiling speakers feature in the Reception area, and one of the popular bars, the Irish-themed Bar, features Blackline X8 and X115 subs. Finally, reference sound for acts appearing onstage outdoors is provided by Martin Audio’s 15in LE200 floor monitors, while indoor stage monitoring is via the portable BlacklineX Powered series, which is sufficiently flexible to be deployed as both stage and DJ monitors and is not required to be as water-resistant.
Martin Audio supported the installation from base, creating presets and custom EQ, while all the equipment was supplied by their local distributor, PRO LAB.
As for the vast range of themed bars themselves, in addition to the Irish Bar these include a Butterfly Bar, a Bali-themed beach bar by the pool, a Hollywood themed bar, a classic British pub, a Japanese bar, and many more, while the three restaurants feature Japanese, Italian, and BBQ cuisine. Nightclubs exist on two levels, each with their own DJ booth.
Finally, there is a Graffiti Bar, with all the interior spray painted—including the white Martin Audio CDD6-WR’s, as Greg Brown explains. “We have graffiti-sprayed them to ensure they blend invisibly into the background. We had to be extremely careful to protect the grilles and ensure the water resistance wasn’t compromised.”
Every zone in the complex is networked, and runs on a Dante backbone. “Any source can be played anywhere in the venue including from any of the stages,” he confirms. “There are 140 channels of amplification and all routing is handled by Symetrix Radius NX devices.”
As for the performance, he said that the CDDs had the versatility to tick all the boxes, and confirmed that the client was delighted. He was also full of praise for ADORN. “We have used these a lot; they are impressive and pack a lot of punch.”
The venue itself opened in January but because of COVID restrictions, the live music component was removed, and socially distanced rules apply. Since this is in a residential area volume levels are also an issue, although the pool stage is facing out to sea, and so the SPL can be cranked up in this area.
Stated Martin Chiervo of events management company, Empire Stages, who were brought in to supervise the technical side of the operation, “We have a great variety of Martin Audio speakers covering absolutely all the audio requirements at Bla Bla Dubai with exceptional quality. From our main poolside stage, all the bars, reception and even down to the toilets, Martin Audio has shown it’s capable of delivering the best coverage to every single corner of our venue with pristine quality.”