Designed by Sydney studios Alexander & Co and Tribe Studio, the architecture and interior design of the rooftop restaurant at Dubai’s Opera house – Sean Connolly at Dubai Opera is spectacular. With uniquely designed carpet that looks like the ocean and octopus-inspired artwork, the ocean-themed restaurant and bar resembles a local dhow boat with its patterned, swooping ceiling.

The restaurant can seat 350 guests and has a sky garden in an external courtyard, highlighting the stunning views of the city skyline – making for an impressive guest experience. The garden provides chef Sean Connolly produce for his dishes. ‘Underwater modernist salon’ was the inspiration behind the restaurant’s oceanic-themed design.

“The bistro explores the colours and tones of the sea, oyster, sea cliff and coastal escarpment,” said Sydney-based design interiors studio. The project was completed in partnership with Tribe Studio architecture office.

Defined by material changes and finishes, the open-plan venue is divided into different areas with sections including Raw and Fire bars, a private dining room, a chef’s table and several other bars.

“The project was very ambitious and quite large. The design DNA developed from what was initially a coarse-grained Tasman inspiration – rugged, worm and sun bleached. However, realities of the many Dubai Opera stakeholders and their own ambitions shaped the restaurant to become more refined, and a bit more delicate,” said Alexander & Co.

“Each design element within the venue explores ideas of the sea, from the oyster with its combination of smooth, sensual surfaces and textured outer surfaces, to the oceanic tones and colours of corals and pearlescent hues.”

“Noting that the local trends within Dubai are recognised for a design tendency to overuse expensive materials to the point of cheapening them, our goal was to utilise where ever possible inexpensive or mass-produced materials in a very focused and detailed way so as to almost through alchemy, turn them into something magically beautiful.”