Virtual Arena: The only wireless VR experience in the world Image Credit: Atiq ur Rehman/XPRESS

Dubai: You don’t have to be a gaming enthusiast to hit Hub Zero, the newest fun place in town. Launched last Wednesday, the region’s first “immersive” gaming park has so much to offer it can keep anyone engaged – from pros and newbies to in- and go-betweens alike.

Different experiences

Spread over two floors covering 15,000 square metres, the sprawling facility has 18 attractions, with each realm of virtual reality offering a different interactive experience shaped around some of the world’s most popular video games.

Giving XPRESS an exclusive tour of the gaming park, Hub Zero general manager Jean Marc Bled said, “The innovative experiences have been created in partnership with leading game developers, including Electronic Arts, Capcom, KONAMI, Microsoft and Square Enix. People of all ages can live the games and become totally immersed in a vibrant and dynamic environment.”

Bled said the attractions include large laser tag areas, interactive dark rides, a virtual cave, high-tech driving simulators, a double laser maze, soccer simulator, 3D immersion tunnel, 4D cinema, a thrill robot coaster and high speed rotating ride with zero gravity effect. There’s also a large indoor adventure climbing zone, a LAN gaming area with 70 stations including eight private suites, besides pool/billiard tables, six private karaoke rooms, a retro arcade and cafes.

Some games are clearly not for the faint-hearted and you can expect intense gameplay, loud noises, explosions, simulated gunfire, strobe and fire effects.


Highlights at Hub Zero

1. Gears of War: Laser Siege

The large themed laser tag / laser quest from Microsoft has interactive media targets. Twenty-four guests can play 15 minutes of intense close battles in teams of six, eight or 12.


2. Battlefield: Armoured Assault

A dark ride with five vehicles from Electronic Arts, it can accommodate five guests at a time. It is equipped with laser guns and 3D glasses, where riders shoot their way through five different battlefield scenes that have physical targets and a point scoring challenge.


3.Dragon Age: Flight of the Wardens

A Robocoaster ride from Electronics Arts, it can accommodate four guests at a time on a giant robotic arm with 360-degree and three-axis movements. Media is projected on a large curved screen


4. Plants vs. Zombies

A kids and toddler’s themed playground, also from Electronics Arts, it includes a free standing, self-contained two-tiered soft play where kids traverse different levels and find the nooks and crannies. Expect interactive blasters, vacuums and cannon where children can shoot foam balls at targets or at each other.


5. Asura’s Wrath: The Awakening

This 4D cinema from Capcom has 46 regular seats with space for wheelchairs too. A 3D movie is played in 3D with four synchronized special effects. The experience is enhanced through 4D seats, leg ticklers, seat vibration, water spritzer, air blast/wind and bass sound effects.


6. Resident Evil: Outbreak

Also a product of Capcom, this interactive 3D dark ride entails a virtual battle game experience. Riders are equipped with laser guns and special goggles and must move through six scenes with physical targets.The game also involves point scoring challenges.


7. PES Sports Academy

This attraction from KONAMI has PES game stations and two multi-sport simulators. Players can engage in a 12-minute PES tournament, where they can push their ball sport skills with the latest Kinect software.


8. Virtual Arena

The only wireless VR experience in the world, this is a completely immersive experience in purpose built arenas for freedom of movement and complete control. The aim is to kill as many zombies as possible.


9. Final Fantasy: Escape from Midgar

A 3D immersion tunnel from Square Enix, this attraction has riders join main characters in their escape from Midgar. The ride features an omni-directional motion platform with 30 seats. The AV system is on a curved screen with five sets of 3D media projectors.


10. Hyper Drive

A homegrown brand, the Double Agent attraction is a double laser maze where agile guests must race against time to reach the target without breaking the laser beam.


11. Tiny Track Racers

This toddler’s karting experience, designed by Hub Zero, requires kids to race cars equipped with steering wheels and monitors. There are other attractions too here.


12. Hero Zone

This is adventure climbing secured with harnesses and includes eight activities such as high rope course, face to face climbing wall, stairway to heaven and leap of faith.


13. Network Arena

The LAN Gaming area has a dedicated high speed internet connection which provides the latest gaming experience with minimal latency. You can sit in anyof the 70 stations and play with anyone anywhere in the world. There are eight private booths too.


14. Lucky Break

This is a posh pool palace with 10 billiard tables of tournament sizes. An adjacent café makes it the perfect place to chill out.


15. Karaoke

This includes six private karaoke suites with recording devices. Each room can accommodate six-eight people. Offers food services too.


16. Time Warp Arcade

This is a retro arcade for a trip down memory lane. It has a selection of 55 games, including classics such as Pack-man, Space Invaders and Frogger. It also hoses pinball machines and table-top games.


17. Double Agent

This is a Hub Zero developed double laser maze with two tunnels. The challenge is to slide, jump or slip through the laser lit maze without hitting the beams to get to the other side of the room.


18. Hack Attack

A Hub Zero product, this entails a futuristic universe wherein three players can simultaneously play the same video game, targeting robots in 3D experience.


Ticket prices
Top up cards: Pay as you go along. Ride rates range from Dh5 to Dh50.
Passes (coming soon): Dh160 for recruit pass (one access to 
14 attractions on ground floor)
Dh210 for master pass 
(unlimited access to 14 attractions on ground floor)
Dh260 for hacker pass (unlimited access in VIP category)