Dubai debuts VR and AR mixed-reality theme park
Image credit: Starbreeze
A theme park offering VR and AR experiences has been opened in The Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world.
Along with the new mixed-reality arcade, Emaar Entertainment’s extravagant mall also contains over 1,000 shops, plus an aquarium and a resident diplodocus.
The arcade, named VR Park, takes up two floors of the mall. It offers VR films, single player and multiplayer VR games and augmented reality attractions. Importantly, it will combine these virtual experiences with physical thrills – such as an indoor rollercoaster – in order to “blur the lines between perception and reality”.
The 18 experiences on show allow users to feel as though they are sliding down the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – skydiving, steering a spaceship, fleeing brutal desert creatures or taking a wild ‘Dubai Drone Taxi’ ride. There are also family-friendly attractions, such as an AR petting zoo and a virtual bus ride through cities of the world.
While entry is free, customers will be expected to pay to use each app. VR Park has adopted the Starbreeze’s StarVR headset for its eight VR experiences. The headset, developed primarily for exhibitions, offers a 210° field of view and 5K resolution.
“We are thrilled to be part of launching the VR Park in Dubai,” said Bo Andersson Klint, CEO of Starbreeze, in a statement. “We have had destination-based entertainment as a focus for our VR initiatives over the past years and now visitors from all over the world can experience our vision for VR content not available at home. We see our participation in the VR Park as a showcase for all of our experiences and a must-visit destination for VR enthusiasts and first-timers with curious minds alike.”
In November, it was reported that a large and ambitious $1bn+ VR, AR and holography theme park was under construction in China’s Guizhou province: East Valley of Science & Fantasy. Visitors to the park put on their VR headsets as soon as they arrive and wear them through the duration of their stay. Attractions include a VR restaurant, VR rollercoaster and a 53.5m-high Transformers statue made of steel.