Inside AYA: Dubai’s new immersive entertainment park

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A giant immersive light and sound park which aims to transport visitors on a “trip to a beautiful universe” has opened its doors in Dubai.

Spread across 3,700 square metres at Wafi City mall, AYA invites intrepid travelers to step foot into a huge universe of vibrant, interactive experiences across 12 different zones, each with its own unique theme and interactive elements.

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Launched by parent company HyperSpace, a Future Forward Entertainment company that builds and operates physical parks for a digital world, AYA aims to inspire travelers to play, drift and dream through observatories packed with a million stars, gardens of blooming light and a river of colour.

Dubai, a city of the future, has been chosen as the launch destination for the first of its kind experience at AYA, with further HyperSpace entertainment parks planned for the emirate, and other major world cities soon.

Alexander Heller, CEO of Hyperspace, said: “We chose Dubai as the destination for AYA, our first immersive entertainment park – as it is a city invested in future-culture, with a demanding and digitally active tourist and resident market. AYA has been designed to evoke wonder and awe in an out-of-this-world trip to a beautiful universe that will light up social media feeds everywhere.”

He added: “This next generation experience combines entertainment and interactive technology to deliver immersive storytelling in an entirely new way – a first for Dubai and for the world. We look forward to welcoming visitors to experience the AYA universe when we open at WAFI City this month.”

At AYA travelers will leave the real world behind to create memories of the future in a vibrant and colourful cosmos. The transformative journey begins by entering the world of Aurora, followed by The Source, Drift, Outland and The Pool zones. Cosmic stars, pools, lush hills and waterfalls of The River zone, The Falls, Celestia, Flora, Tides and Harmonia complete the spectacular experience.

Spread across 3,700 square metres at Wafi City mall, AYA invites intrepid travelers to step foot into a huge universe of vibrant, interactive experiences across 12 different zones, each with its own unique theme and interactive elements. (Supplied)
Spread across 3,700 square metres at Wafi City mall, AYA invites intrepid travelers to step foot into a huge universe of vibrant, interactive experiences across 12 different zones, each with its own unique theme and interactive elements. (Supplied)
  • Aurora; in a first look inside this new world, gesture control and movement provides an interactive experience to immerse travelers into 230 square foot of interactive artwork to consume the senses. Pools constructed from cosmic dust and reflected from beyond the stars will offer a glimpse of what is to come, as waves of light cascade across the zone and a rainbow of colours dance.
  • The Source; a 3,250 square foot zone is the first AYA experience. A mystical chamber of digital pools and a touch reactive dome that tunes into human senses ignites the experience, while surrounding projections inject new life into the zone. Set across six chapters, a six-minute display with reactive LED pools will transport travelers into the beautiful universe, using the latest touch reactive technology.
  • Drift; Another huge area to explore is a 2,000 square foot zone, where travelers can journey to the heart of the AYA universe. Lie back on a lush hillside, that gently vibrates in time with the surrounding music to feel a sense of weightlessness as a panoramic projection transports travelers to a peaceful new landscape.
  • Outland; This zone is set across three chapters to introduce new characters and avatars of the AYA experience. A corridor of imagination is controlled by movement where the presence of guests brings forth new creatures from this captivating new world. Skeletal tracking and projection mapping are technologies used to enable visitors to dance alongside the avatars of this unexplored domain.
  • The Pool; Immersive projections bridge the journey to the start of the river exploration. Beginning with an infinity vortex to capture the senses of those who step inside, the next chapter of the experience begins to unfold.
  • The River; Storms and pools of color and light are generated with every footstep inside this 2,000 square foot space; The Deep and The Dunes. A secret unlockable chapter of the adventure with LED screens and detection sensors that pick up the movements of those inside, brings this zone to life through a river of vibrancy.
  • The Falls; An audio responsive waterfall that runs upside down to defy the laws of gravity signals the end of the River journey in this section of the attraction.
  • Celestia; By interacting with beams of light, celestial events are trigged in this fully immersive zone that projects a mapped vision of the cosmos. A light show across five different chapters and an interactive spatial game awaits those who connect with the 13-minute-long show.
  • Flora; Creatures formed by light in this bioluminescent garden respond and react to the movement of travelers into the world of AYA. During this nine-minute-long show, presence detection technology transports visitors into an intelligent oasis of all living things.
  • Tides; An infinite mirrored chamber adorned with LED totems and an interactive monolith are the centerpiece of this eight minute show compiled of four different storytelling chapters.
  • Harmonia; Finally, a three minute long finale will see a robotic light show in a mirrored infinity zone that stretches far into the distance.

Along the way travelers to AYA will dance with avatars and unlock new characters to interact with as part of the totally immersive experience.

Aya is in the main atrium of Wafi City mall in Oud Metha.

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