The first all-sports virtual reality arcade in the UAE has opened at Dubai Mall, with VR Sports promising to “change the sports scene forever”.

The grand opening at the state-of-the-art Virtual Reality Theme Park in Dubai was attended by Saeed Hareb, Secretary-General of the Dubai Sports Council (DSC).

Digital agency ARkub Interactive were behind the launch of VR Sports, which will be a one-stop-shop for sports fans and active families. Enthusiasts of all ages can play over 20 VR games, including basketball, football, skiing, golf and cricket. Competitions and activities designed for everyone will start next month, in time for the World Cup.

“VR will change the sports scene forever,” DSC chief Hareb said. “It will help in making workouts more effective and athletes will not even have to step out of their homes to train.

“VR Sports is a great new addition to Dubai’s sports scene, not just for virtual reality enthusiasts, but also sports professionals who are looking to improve their game.

“A number of studies in recent years have confirmed how virtual reality helps foster a better understanding of sports performance, becoming an integral part of training for sports teams and individuals.

“So, we at Dubai Sports Council are looking forward to working with VR Sports in our efforts to further enhance the sporting landscape of Dubai and add exciting new technological advances like VR.”

Praising the innovative idea, Arindam Kunar, Chief Operating Officer, Emaar Entertainment, said: “We are confident that VR Sports attraction at VR Park will be very popular among Dubai Mall customers.”

The 75,000 sq. ft. VR Park complex is yet another in a long line of imaginative and interactive developments from Emaar Entertainment. It was the ideal location to set up the first VR Sports arcade in the region.

VR Sports: An exciting new venue at Dubai Mall.

“The fit was just natural. The VR Park is geared towards the newest and most innovative ideas in virtual reality today. We plan to enhance the experience on a regular basis by integrating new content as users’ expectations are growing exponentially towards VR and the sports industry is transforming,” said Hind Sergieh, Managing Director of ARkub in Dubai.

Canon Middle East have been approached to join forces on the initiative and speaking about this partnership, Venkatasubramanian Hariharan, the company’s B2C Business Unit Director, said, “The unique capabilities of our high-definition projectors create an immersive gaming experience with crisp images projected in exquisite detail, which is what ARkub required to integrate the real and virtual world.

“The solution is not only limited to projection but also includes a web interface, which can involve online communities to the gaming experience, seamlessly bridging the gap between physical and digital. We are excited about this partnership to deliver a unique VR experience.”

It is the latest exciting technological development in Dubai after it was announced last month that the city would house the UAE’s first ever dedicated esports arena, the Dubai X-Stadium.