Seeking Sanctuary

Lighting tech the highlight of this Atlantis - The Palm nightclub.
Analysis, Delivery & Transmission
LED technology features prominently throughout the club.
LED technology features prominently throughout the club.
The simple fog screen projection technique is a club favourite.
The simple fog screen projection technique is a club favourite.
Analysis, Delivery & Transmission
Projectors are positioned above the main dance floor.
Projectors are positioned above the main dance floor.


The Sanctuary nightclub has made its own unique contribution to the glamorous reputation of Dubai’s Atlantis Hotel venue, thanks in part to its creative application of cutting-edge lighting and projection technologies. Sound and Stage profiles the technical highlights of this landmark Dubai nightclub.


The nightclub’s creative application of audio-visual technology has ensured its reputation as one of Dubai’s leading venues.

The initial lighting installation was conducted by Sound and Stage distributor of the year for 2008, Venuetech.

A creative combination of projection, spot, wash and LED lighting technology, and a cleverly deployed haze effect, provides punters with an immersive and effects-rich clubbing experience.


Martin Professional lighting technology lies at the core of the club’s AV installation. Sanctuary’s lighting production and technical manager, Ryan Marginson, refers to Martin products as the “Rolls Royce” of the lighting world.

A total of 30 Christie LX500 XGA LCD 5000 lumen projectors are located throughout the club.

The Coolux Pandora’s Box media server used at Sanctuary, is another product that receives rave reviews from staff. Marginson claims it is one of the most flexible and easy-to-use media servers he has worked with.


LED technology lines the walls of the nightclub. The largest screens are located adjacent to the main dancefloor area and display various graphics and animations customised to fit the theme of a given night’s entertainment.

Blended projections loom over the dance floor, changing throughout the night. The abundance of projection technology throughout the venue is possibly the most notable aspect of the installation. The vast majority of Christie LX500 projectors are directed at curved surfaces.

Another quirky addition to the club’s presentation is the combined use of a fog screen and a singular, roof-hung projector at the club’s entrance. On entering the club, patrons walk through the screen which has the Sanctuary logo projected onto it. The projection then travels through the fog and strikes the floor on the other side of the entrance.

At the club’s entrance there are several projectors directed toward the floor, which are integrated with interactive Luminvision video projection software.

This software captures movement from around the projected surface with an infra-red camera that then manipulates an image according to the desired effect. Technical staff are currently working to develop a customised water program for the projections, which aims to create a ‘walk on water’ effect.


Adapting the nightclub’s interior to suit the scheduled themed nights provides a number of technical challenges.

Given the stark differences between themes (everything from ‘space night’ to ‘oriental night’ to this month’s ‘secret garden’ evening) total flexibility is a prerequisite of the venue’s technology installation.

Dubai-based IBS Decor was recruited by Sanctuary management to assist in providing props to assist the club in making the transition to a themed atmosphere.

The company also works to customise Sanctuary’s interior design depending on the desired theme.

While the club’s AV system is not exactly ‘state-of-the-art’ it features a raft of proven technology that is deployed in an effective and creative manner.

With no central AV control system present, the smooth operation of technology serves as a testament to the comprehensive work of the club’s technical staff.


5000 ANSI lumens
1000:1 contrast ratio
Display Resolution
3-chip 1.0” LCD light engine
Native XGA 1024 x 768 res
Input Signal Compatibility
VGA through UXGA (1600 x 1200)
Multi-standard video decoder
Horizontal and vertical scaling, all inputs
Accepts standard HDTV formats (480i, 480p, 575i, 575p, 720p, 1035i, and 1080i)

Scan Rates
Horizontal – 15 kHz to 100 kHz
Vertical – 50 Hz to 100 Hz
Pixel clock – 140 MHz
DVI-D (digital, HDCP)
HD15 analogue
Composite video, S-Video
USB type B
Mini-DIN 8-pin RS-232
Wired remote jack

HD 15 analogue
Audio out
Optical System
Standard 1.6-2.1:1 lens with projector with motorised zoom, focus and lens shift
Vertical lens shift up to ± 100%
Horizontal lens shift up to ± 30%

Lens Options
The LX500 is shipped without a lens. Available options include:
Standard: 1.6 - 2.1:1
Fixed: 0.8:1
Short zoom: 1.2:1.6:1
Long zoom: 2.1 - 3.4:1
Long zoom: 3.4 - 5.4:1

Weight: 19.2 lb (8.7 kg)
Body dimensions, without lens: 17.5” L x 13.7”W x 6.2”H Inches (444.0 L x 348.1 W x 156.5 H mm)
Body dimensions, with lens and maximum length of adjusted leg protrusion: 17.5” L x 13.7”W x 6.5”H Inches (444.9 L x 348.1 W x 164.0 H mm)
Packaged dimensions: 23.2”L x 19.3” W x 14.6 H inches (590 L x 490 W x 370 H mm)

2000 hours, typical lamp life
3000 hours, eco mode

Power Requirements
100-120 V and 200-240 V ± 10%
Power consumption: 430 W
Thermal dissipation: 1590 Btu/hr
Operating current: 4.6 A max at100-120 50/60 Hz, 2.3 A max at 200-240 VAC 50/60 Hz

Operating Environment
Temperature: 40 to 95˚ F (5 to 35˚ C)
Humidity: 20–80% (non-condensing)
Altitude: 0–8850ft (0–2700m)
Audible noise: 35 dBA (ECO Mode); 39 dBA (normal)

Tech talk with Ryan Marginson, lighting production and technical manager, Sanctuary Nightclub, Atlantis.


“The projected content can be manipulated across the entire 270 degree dance floor projection area. This means that video clips and logos can be dispersed from one side of the room to the other. In future, we hope to add a few more projectors to the surface around the dance floor in order to project at 360 degrees.

“The dome above the dance floor hosts a collage of four projections, with content fed from a Martin Maxedia Compact. From the lighting console I’m able to control the entire lighting and visual display with precision and beat-matching steps. The content is constantly updated in order to keep things fresh and new.”


“The lighting array includes Martin Mac 250 Krypton profiles, Studio Due LED wash lights and four High-End DL2 digital moving lights.

“With multiple rigging bars located above the main dance floor, the design of the venue enables the production team to hang decor and other equipment for special events. They can also relocate the lighting fixtures as and when required.”


“The Coolux system is incredible. The 3D environment allows you to capture and transform the output image onto any surface that you might normally struggle with if you were using an ordinary server.

“Coolux’s warping tools help to define the projected image onto some quite obscure projection surfaces. This is a pertinent trait too, especially in Sanctuary, where the design of the club is such that no surface is even, making it quite challenging to project images easily.

“The simplicity of the user interface allows you to customise the manager layout and control preferences, which allows you to control and manipulate the system however you desire.

“The system’s render engine is also quite fantastic. With real-time rendering the options are endless, especially when driving three video layers and three graphic layers all at once in similar movements like a VDJ does at a dance party.

“When dealing with HD content, the PB Server Pro copes with ease; the PB Player Pro still manages to keep up but can struggle a bit depending on the content. One trait of the Coolux system is that it focuses on a very successful codec and file format that allows optimum performance readiness for cues and instant playback. Another handy tool is the on-board converter which allows you to convert your content to the appropriate format for the PB system.”


2 x Martin Maxyzz Compact (one as backup)
1 x ELC dmXLAN node8
1 x DLINK gigabit switcher
1 x Color Kinetics Light system engine

Media Server
1 x Martin Maxedia Compact
1 x Coolux Pandora’s Box Media Server Pro
3 x Coolux Pandora’s Box Media Player Pro
1 x Coolux Pandora’s Box Media Manager Pro
4 x Luminvision Interactive Media Control

Moving Heads
14 x Studio Due Nano LED wash
20 x Martin Mac 250 Krypton

Digital Fixtures
4 x HighEnd Systems DL2 moving head
30 x Christie LX500 projectors

Conventional / Architectural Fixtures
8 x Strand SL15/32 Architectural Zoom spotlights
8 x Strand SL23/50 Architectural Zoom spotlights
Color Kinetic LED Architectural wall-mount wash (too many to count).
80 x Color Kinetic Colour Blast LED wall wash (front entrance)

Special Effects
2 x Martin 24/7 hazer
1 x 2m FogScreen by FogScreen Finland

Audio System
9 x Pioneer CDJ 1000 MK3
2 x Pioneer DJM 1000 (Mixer)
1 x Pioneer DJM 800 (Mixer)
1 x Pioneer EFX 1000

Meyer audio system (main room, lounge area, terrace)
Tannoy ceiling-mount system (entrance)
Bose audio system (restroom)

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