The recently opened Dubai Hills Mall is a glamorous destination in a popular tourist spot, offering plenty of opportunities for shopping, dining and entertainment. It is also home to The Storm, the fastest indoor rollercoaster in the city; an adventurous ride that stands 50 metres tall.
Showcasing the latest innovations in engineering, The Storm features a jaw dropping vertical launch to 50 metres in just 5 seconds. The 670 metre track weaves throughout the entire mall building, making it a spectacle to watch and a unique experience for riders.
Leading operator of exclusive experiences Emaar Entertainment created the concept of the rollercoaster set into the heart of the shopping mall. They appointed engineering experts Cundall to design and deliver The Storm. As the lead design consultant, Cundall provided a range of services including structural engineering and lighting design.
To fulfil the design, Creation Gulf were brought into the project. As a leading provider of architectural lighting and systems, Creation Gulf worked closely with the design and engineering teams to enhance the experience of The Storm.
Creation Gulf were able to utilise the comprehensive portfolio of products from lighting control experts Pharos Architectural Controls to deliver the brief, comprising multiple dynamic lighting effects on the façade, including the most important effect of all: replicating lightning as found in an actual storm. Additional content was also created to simulate fireworks, the UAE flag, and other effects.
For the interior visuals of the rollercoaster, Creation Gulf provided a system capable of creating multiple effects simultaneously in different areas. The two main parts of the system were the Programmable RGB Linear Fixture installed on the wall, and the RGBW Pixel String which was integrated into the track itself.
To achieve these awe-inspiring results, four different Pharos products were used by Creation Gulf – the LPC 20 (Lighting Playback Controller 20), VLC 250 (Video Playback Controller 250), RIO 80 (Remote Input Output 80) and EDN 20 (Ethernet Data Node 20).
The compact yet powerful LPC 20 allows for the building of dynamic, precise, and tailored pre-programmed lighting effects. The VLC 250 provides expert capabilities matched with cost effectiveness for large LED pixel arrays. The RIO 80 provides a convenient and scalable interface unit for volt free relay contact from the rollercoaster, while the EDN 20 offers Ethernet-distributed DMX ports for large control projects.
These Pharos products work in perfect harmony to deliver dynamic lighting on the huge scale required to provide an unrivalled experience to visitors of The Storm. The Pharos system also had to integrate seamlessly with the audio visual, building management and rollercoaster systems, as well as the back of house lighting controls, fire alarm and front of house (non-DMX) control system – which it did.
Mark de Gruyter, Regional Sales Manager – EMEA at Pharos Architectural Controls, says: “The Storm is an impressive engineering feat that offers rollercoaster fans a truly special experience. An important part of this is the lighting, creating effects that offer a truly immersive and all-encompassing rollercoaster ride.
“The Pharos control system was integral to The Storm’s success, and we we’re confident that Creation Gulf can rely on any system that is designed and delivered using our award-winning portfolio of products.”
The Storm has become a destination in its own right, attracting thrill-seekers to the Dubai Hills Mall from all over the world.
Architectural lighting control system supply and programming – Creation Gulf
Client – Emaar Entertainment
Engineering consultant – Cundall
Photography / Videography – Courtesy of Creation Gulf