Lighting Design

Project Spotlight: Ling Ling Dubai

Project Spotlight: Ling Ling Dubai

By Georgia Christley, Office & Marketing Manager, FPOV

Project Basics

Ling Ling Dubai, a high-end dining and nightlife venue, is located within the luxurious Atlantis The Royal Resort in Dubai, UAE. Spanning approximately 12,000 square feet, Ling Ling Dubai offers a sophisticated blend of Asian cuisine and chic nightlife, creating an immersive experience that goes beyond traditional dining.

The dining area, designed to offer an intimate and serene atmosphere, features luxurious seating and elegantly set tables. The bar, on the other hand, exudes a more vibrant and social vibe, with high stools and a striking counter made from illuminated onyx. The lounge area offers a relaxed setting with comfortable sofas and low tables, ideal for casual conversations. The terrace, offering breathtaking views, is designed with both dining tables and lounge seating, perfect for enjoying the Dubai skyline.

The restaurant’s design philosophy revolves around creating a fluid flow between these distinct areas, ensuring that guests experience a cohesive journey from the moment they enter. The architectural layout and interior design play pivotal roles in guiding this journey, with each space offering a different yet complementary atmosphere.

Located on the 23rd floor of the iconic Atlantis The Royal, Ling Ling Dubai boasts panoramic views of the Palm Jumeirah and the Dubai skyline. This elevated position not only provides breathtaking views but also influences the lighting design, as the natural light during the day transitions to the glittering cityscape at night. The owner, Tao Group, is renowned for its upscale global hospitality venues, adding prestige to this already illustrious location.

In addition to its stunning location, Ling Ling Dubai is notable for its use of cutting-edge technology and luxurious materials. Global Lighting Designers, FPOV employed advanced 3D modelling and visualization tools during the planning stages, allowing for precise control over the lighting and architectural elements.

The Hakkasan Group, founded in London in 2001, is famous for its world-class restaurants and nightclubs. This history of excellence and innovation in the hospitality industry is reflected in every aspect of Ling Ling Dubai, from the menu to the ambience.

Owner Goals

The lighting design was crucial in achieving the owner’s vision, with the aim to craft a dynamic ambience that enhances the overall guest experience from day to night. The Hakkasan Group envisioned a venue where guests could enjoy a relaxed dining experience that naturally evolves into a lively, energetic setting as the evening progresses.

To achieve this, the design team needed to consider how the space would be used at different times of the day and for various events. This required a flexible lighting solution capable of adapting to multiple scenarios, from intimate dinners to large, festive gatherings. Additionally, the lighting needed to be integrated seamlessly with the architectural and interior design, highlighting the venue’s luxurious features without overshadowing them.

The sensory experiences targeted by the owners included the interplay of light and shadow to create depth, the use of color to evoke emotions, and the strategic placement of lighting to guide guests through the space. Each element of the lighting design was intended to enhance the culinary experience, making it not just a meal but a memorable event. The approach extended beyond traditional lighting design, incorporating LED screens and color changing architectural features. Recessed lights artfully illuminate a preserved tree in the dining area, creating a warm atmosphere while retaining the panoramic views outside.

Challenges Encountered

One of the major challenges was integrating a versatile lighting system that could adapt to the varying needs of the space throughout the day. The transition from a serene dining environment to an energetic nightlife setting required a lighting solution that could effortlessly switch between different moods. Additionally, maintaining the balance between functional illumination and dramatic accent lighting was essential to highlight the architectural and interior design elements without overwhelming the space.

Another challenge was the implementation of smart lighting controls, requiring careful planning and integration to ensure ease of use and reliability. Technical challenges included ensuring the lighting control systems were user-friendly for the staff while being sophisticated enough to handle complex programming. The installation of lighting fixtures in high, difficult-to-reach areas required precise planning and coordination with the construction team to ensure accessibility for maintenance.

Innovative Lighting Design Solutions

To address these challenges, FPOV implemented a state-of-the-art lighting system that combines dynamic elements in terms of animated video screens, color changing lighting and the ability to change the atmosphere as the evening turns to night. Dimmable LED fixtures were strategically placed to allow for flexibility in light intensity and color temperature, ensuring the perfect ambience at any given time. Accent lighting was used to highlight key architectural features, such as the intricate ceiling designs and luxurious materials, adding depth and visual interest to the space.

The dining area features programmable RGB lighting, enabling a smooth changeover from a relaxed dining atmosphere to a vibrant nightlife experience. Custom-designed pendant lights add a touch of elegance, while hidden cove lighting enhances the overall mood without detracting from the architectural aesthetics. The use of smart lighting controls allows for easy adjustment and customization, ensuring that the lighting design remains adaptable to various events, either in the private dining room or the ‘ultra lounge’.

Working alongside Parisian interior designers Gilles & Boissier, FPOV ensured that every element of the lighting design complemented the venue’s sophisticated interior, creating an unforgettable atmosphere for guests. Each space within the venue tells its own design story, with an interplay of colors and animated screens guiding guests through their experience. The video screen columns in the dining area feature subtle and refined motion content, stimulating guests and setting the mood for the transition to the ultra-lounge, where they can dance the night away.

As with other Hakkasan projects, Ling Ling Dubai offers a transportive experience, creating an atmosphere that feels extraordinary and unique. This project, like the original Hakkasan restaurant in London, prioritizes delivering an exceptional and otherworldly experience. Peter Veale, Design Director at FPOV, approached this project as a homage to the inaugural Hakkasan project that he worked on, celebrating the original design. The same lighting effects employed two decades ago were utilized, showcasing their timeless appeal and effectiveness.

Advanced lighting control systems enabled programming to create a variety of lighting scenes. These scenes can be easily changed throughout the day to reflect the desired mood and atmosphere. For example, during dinner service, the lighting is set to a warm, inviting tone that encourages relaxation and conversation. As the evening progresses, the lighting gradually shifts to more vibrant, dynamic colors, energizing the space and preparing guests for the nightlife experience.

The terrace area presented a unique challenge due to its exposure to natural light and the need for outdoor lighting that complements the interior design. Weather-resistant fixtures emitting warm white light were utilized to ensure that the terrace remains visually connected to the indoor spaces while providing adequate illumination for outdoor dining and events. This careful coordination ensures that the transition between indoor and outdoor areas feels fluid and coherent.

To further enhance the guest experience, interactive lighting features that respond to music and movement were integrated. This creates a dynamic environment that changes throughout the evening, keeping the atmosphere lively and engaging. The use of energy-efficient LED technology also ensures that the lighting system is sustainable, reducing the venue’s environmental footprint.

Light Middle East Award Win

The innovative lighting design at Ling Ling Dubai earned the project the prestigious Project of the Year – Restaurant, Light Middle East Award, recognizing excellence in lighting design and implementation. This accolade highlights the project’s success in creating a visually stunning and functional lighting environment that enhances the overall guest experience. The award is a tribute to the collaborative effort between the design team, Tao Group, Gilles & Boissier, Atlantis, and the various contractors and suppliers who contributed to the project.

Ling Ling Dubai showcases the potential of innovative lighting solutions to transform spaces and create memorable experiences for guests. The recognition from industry peers and experts further solidifies Ling Ling Dubai’s position as a leader in hospitality design and innovation.

About The Author

Georgia Christley is Office & Marketing Manager at FPOV, a leading lighting and audio-visual design consultancy known for its innovative and client-centric approach. With a portfolio of award-winning projects, FPOV specializes in creating bespoke lighting and audio-visual solutions that enhance architectural and interior design, delivering exceptional experiences across the globe. FPOV is committed to excellence and innovation that pushes the boundaries of lighting and audio-visual design, ensuring that each FPOV project is not only visually stunning but also functionally superior. For more information, visit





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