Pixel: Abu Dhabi to be home to new esports and VR gaming hub



They don’t do things on a small scale in the United Arab Emirates. Consider, for instance, Dubai’s towering Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. In September, that city saw the opening of the Arcade by Hub Zero, a “gaming park” whose attraction include everything from vintage Space Invaders and Pac-Man machines to the latest immersive VR games.

Not to be outdone, Abu Dhabi will soon be home to a massive waterfront destination called Al Qana. One of Al Qana’s major draws will be Pixel, an esports and virtual-reality hub.

Al Barakah International Investment is developing Pixel in conjunction with Lebanon-based Robocom VR.

Will there be an arcade?

Will there be an arcade, you ask? Yes, dear reader, there will be an arcade. In addition, Pixel will include a tournament venue and the Middle East’s first certified esports academy. The academy’s mission? “Highlighting the importance of playing responsibly”, of course.

In a statement, Robocom VR CEO Karim Ibrahim said, “We will provide an opportunity for gamers to grow and develop their professional talent to compete in international competitions and tournaments. Building VR hubs is the bread and butter of Robocom VR and we are excited to reveal the gamers’ heaven, the most integrated gaming experience at Al Qana Abu Dhabi, for the UAE and the rest of the world.”

Located on Abu Dhabi’s Khor Al Maqta waterway, Al Qana is scheduled to open by the end of this year. The complex spreads across seven districts, totalling more than 2.4 kilometres. In addition to Pixel, attractions will include a 15-screen cinema, a giant aquarium, and a comprehensive wellness hub.

According to the project’s official website:

Al Qana is focused towards leisure and fun for all, with over 50% of the leasable area assigned to entertainment. The project is on track for construction completion with over 90% complete.

I have done a lot of different things over the course of my life and professional career. I have interviewed Oscar and Grammy winners and written cover stories for glossy newsstand magazines. I have played guitar in a rock band on national TV and run an independent music label for which I wrote all of the PR and marketing materials. In my spare time, I sweated out a novel about a world where raccoons are kings and dragons are real.

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