Aya Universe, an immersive entertainment experience has opened up in Wafi City Mall in Dubai. We have seen a few of these experiences recently – Infinity des Lumieres and TODA, as well as many in the EXPO 2020 Pavilions – so I was fairly curious to see what Aya could bring to us that was different that what was already available. We drove up to Wafi City mall late December, just two weeks after its opening date, to review Aya Universe with the kids.
Here’s what to expect at Aya Universe Dubai with kids.
Where is Aya Universe?
Aya is located on the first floor of Wafi City mall. If you are familiar with the location of the Santa’s Grotto which comes up every December – it is on the floor above.
We valeted our car with Valtrans at that very entrance (complimentary with our credit card). You can also park your car in Wafi Mall’s covered parking areas.
Is it guided, or do you walk around by yourself?
The experience is free for all to roam as you please.
Is there a time limit in Aya?
Technically no, if you think you want to stay there for a few hours – you can. However, the recommended time is 2 hours.
We stayed for about an hour and a half, and had to drag the girls to leave as they playing in the rooms. I would expect that 2 hours is more than enough with young kids.
What exactly is in Aya Universe?
Hyper Space, a Dubai-based “future forward” entertainment company have carefully designed Aya – a futuristic, immersive experience for all ages.
There are 12 different rooms spread over 4000 square metres. Each room is built based on a certain theme : The Source, Harmonia, Flora, etc. You feel transported into a different universe as you go from room to room. They use music, lighting, projections, and in one room – water, to create a unique experience.
The video itself would be the best way to show what it’s like :
How is Ava Universe Dubai with kids?
We went, with our 2, 4 and 6 year old.
The entire area is family-friendly, and pram accessible.
However, do note that it is dark in most rooms and in some cases they use strobe lighting which can be quite scary for little ones, as well anyone who suffers from epilepsy. Do keep an eye out for the toddlers as there are steps, so they could trip and fall.
Once my middle child got over the ‘scary factor’, they were all playing in the rooms :
- Climbing and sliding off numerous odd shaped structures in The Source, as well as interacting with the ‘source’ itself.
- Climbing on the oversized spheres in Luna (this room was magical)
- It was beautiful in Flora with the artificial grass and overhanging vines – making it feel like a fairytale land.
- Jumping over the ‘rivers’ in ‘The River‘ and running their hands through ‘The Falls.’ Word of warning : they will get wet!
- Seeing their artificial self appear in ‘Outland‘ and interacting with it
- Dancing to the music and strobe lighting in ‘Harmonia‘
- Getting completely lost trying to find each other in ‘Tides‘ which was essentially a multi-mirror room
- Laying down in ‘Drift‘ and watching the mesmerizing sky above (then proceeded to climb up and down the area haha..)
We were personally very impressed with Aya Universe.
We went there sceptical – thinking, ahhh – another one of these ‘3d immersive’ things. I loved how they carefully designed each room and had different music, lighting, mirrors and objects to create a different space altogether. Some rooms were magical – felt like you were in Avatar or a fantasy world. Some rooms were so relaxing. It’s somewhere I could see myself going back. The kids are already asking to return.
The experience will be quite different as well if it was quieter. Amazing for photos and videos for sure – a content creator’s haven!
Definitely give it a try. For a family of 5, with kids ages 3 and above – it is quite a pricey family outing. Hoping that a few months down the line the team will look into introducing a family fare – keep watching their social media pages for that!
- Aya Universe Dubai
- Aya’s Website
- Wafi City Mall
- Price : 99 aed per person | Kids under 3 free
Disclaimer : We were guests of Aya Universe, to review the experience.