Walls and ceilings for no less than 20 Grand Cinemas theatres and one IMax 3D cinema were fitted by Al Shirawi Interiors Division at the Ibn Battuta Mall. Despite the scale of the contract, carried out on behalf of Al Tayer Stocks, the job was successfully completed within the three-month deadline.
“Although we’ve fitted out cinemas before, this was one of the biggest jobs we’ve ever done,” said Raj Pal Saran, General Manager, Interiors Division, adding that the team was responsible for fitting susspended ceilings and dry walls, as well as the installation of a decorative ceiling in the cinema foyer.
All the walls around and between the 21 cinemas had to be clad in a special, fire-retardant wall system. Four layers of gypsum board on each side of the walls resulted in a thickness of 500mm, each reaching a height of 10-12 meters. Ceilings were also fitted with a special acoustic ceiling gypsum board, while a custom suspension system on isolation mounts provided shock absorption to cushion the vibrations from the cinema sound system. Below the ceiling, 600mm square acoustic tiles were fitted.
“Many of the materials we used had to be specially sourced,” said Raj. “The walls and ceilings came from an Australian company, Boral Middle East, who specialise in gypsum board walls. The ceiling tiles and special black acoustic cladding behind the screens came from Rockfon in Denmark.
Once installation was complete, acoustic testing was successfully carried out to ensure that each theatre adhered to strict sound-level criteria. “Through this and other cinema projects we have completed, it is fair to say that we are now cinema specialists,” said Raj.
“Malls are the new culture in Dubai, and each one will have cinemas. Companies looking for specialist outfitters need look no further than Al Shirawi. By working together, Al Tayer Stocks, the customer that contracted us to do the job, Nakheel, and the Turner project managers, were able to complete the job successfully and on time. The team did a great job, considering we also had to synchronize our work with all the other agencies who were also working on the cinemas, including the electromechanical and soft furnishing contractors.”