Urla is a sophisticated dining experience with a distinctive coastal design concept that presents a menu of Aegean-inspired cuisine.
The restaurant brings a new level of chic to downtown Dubai. It overlooks the famous Burj Khalifa and the spectacular Dubai Fountains. The outdoor destination matches coastal-themed décor with the visual subtlety and beautiful clarity of an L-Acoustics X Series audio system.
Opened in November 2021, Urla was developed by the Q Food & Beverage Group, which was also instrumental in luxury dining destinations Huqqa, Huqqabaz, and Gal.
Local L-Acoustics Certified Provider Integrator, Levels Audio Visual has worked closely with the group to develop AV systems for all its concepts and was brought in at the interior design phase of the project to provide a complete design, as well as to supply, install and service the latest project.
Urla is mainly an outdoor venue situated in a mixed-use area, so sound spill into neighboring areas was a major consideration. To mitigate this, the audio system design ensures that most of the direct energy is focused only on the audience area, minimizing spill to neighboring businesses.
The client was also looking for a sleek looking loudspeaker that wouldn’t interfere with the beautiful decor of the restaurant and would still deliver the highest possible audio performance for guests. L-Acoustics X Series was the perfect solution. We mainly used discreet 5XT and X8 cabinets, which were complemented by the larger X12 in areas that required stronger coverage. The fact that X8 delivers sufficient low-frequency performance also enabled us to use fewer subs throughout the venue. Where they are needed, we’ve used SB15m, SB18, and Syva Sub, says Hassan Alwan, Managing Partner at Levels.
Following the coastal theme, the venue is split into various areas on different levels, reflecting the gentle slope of a shoreline. The system is zoned to ensure that each area has its own discrete audio feed.
The main entrance opens onto a shallow, sweeping staircase leading to the garden area of the restaurant, which is served by four X8 positioned on the rear wall, along with a floor-mounted SB15m sub. From here, there is a step down to the main terrace, where the dining area to the left features three X8 and an SB15m. A step up to the right reveals the lounge benefiting from a further three X8. Then stepping down further to the bar, five X8 are suspended on custom-made umbrella units, with two X12 adding extra power for the DJ booth with two SB18 subs for the low end.
The indoor restaurant is served by nine wall-mounted 5XT and two floor-mounted Syva Sub.
The compact format of 5XT was perfect for the restaurant where we wanted reduced visual impact. In the outside areas where we had to fix most of the cabinets to Urla’s unique umbrella units, some coordination with the interior design and operations teams was required, and the subs were built into interior design-finished enclosures to hide them better, explains Levels’ Partner and Technical Daniel Ball.
All design work, including the essential modeling of the system in Soundvision, was handled by the Levels team. “However, we always refer back to our L-Acoustics regional application engineer, Rahul Samuel, to cross-check and validate our designs”, says Ball. “Rahul was very supportive and helped add some small adjustments for further system optimization”.
Levels is pleased to report that its client is delighted with the results. So much so that they have been invited to review existing venues to upgrade them to L-Acoustics. “To successfully complete a project and then be asked to look at more venues is the best compliment you can get”, concludes Alwan. “Urla is already gaining a reputation for being one of Dubai’s most vibrant culinary hotspots. It is also a showstopper location for great sound. It really does please all the senses”.