Dubai strives to achieve the best in everything and gaming is not an exception. Gaming has become an integral part of the city’s entertainment industry and virtual world lovers are enjoying every bit of it.
For all those gaming fanatics, we are presenting here the best places in Dubai for virtual games, arcade games and active gaming. For something a little different, we have also included the best board game cafes in Dubai too!
We have divided our guide into 4 major categories so that you can go straight to the gaming section you are interested in without losing time on the others. Although going through all the categories will help you to explore and understand the mesmeric gaming world of Dubai.
The Best Places in Dubai for Virtual Games
If gaming is a stress reliever for you, then Virtual Games must be your favourite genre to play around with. Dubai hosts many VR gaming centres. Check out these spots where you can have fun while showing your competitive side.
1. VR Park
This virtual reality gaming hub is ruling over the Dubai gamers like anything. Sheltered under the roof of the Dubai Mall, this is the first theme park based on virtual reality gaming in the Middle East. VR Park is packed with everything to entertain your whole family.
VR Park Dubai spreads over two floors and houses as many as 18 attractions.
As soon as you put a VR headset on, you could be transported anywhere. You can land either in an alien planet, atop the Burj Khalifa or in the snowy mountains of Austria. VR Park allows you to play all alone or bring your friends for great company.
If you don’t wish to dodge the reality and stick to it, there’s nothing to worry about. This place has got plenty of arcade games to offer a fun-filled experience.
- Sunday – Thursday: 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM, Last admission 09.15 PM
- Friday & Saturday: 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM, Last admission 11.15 PM
2. Arena Games
The next best place in Dubai to take a round of exceptionally challenging and enticing world of virtual reality games has to the Arena Games. Their gaming consoles create a variety of options to choose from. They are fully equipped with technologies that suit both gaming enthusiasts and veterans.
The battles against killer robots or zombies at Arena Games are truly immersive. There is a collection of 14 VR games that you can take on including the popular ones like Singularity, Far Cry VR and Engineerium. You can play alone or participate with a group of friends while competing against each other.
- Monday – Thursday, 12.30 PM to 10.00 PM
- Friday, 12.30 PM – 11.30 PM
- Saturday, 10.00 AM – 11.30 PM
- Sunday, 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM
3. iFLY Dubai
Looking for some serious adrenaline-surging experience in a virtual reality world in Dubai? iFLY Dubai got covered you. Be it bungee jumping, skydiving or base jumping – you can try them all at iFLY Dubai’s facility. This indoor simulation activity is the first of its kind in the region.
The thrill of diving never looked this easy and felt this safe until iFLY set up this amazing place in Dubai. Diving with iFLY is truly hassle-free and at the same time, it is breathtaking as you enjoy a birds eye’s view of Dubai’s iconic destinations.
iFLY Dubai showcases a powerful air tunnel that keeps you four-meter above the ground under a controlled environment. Thrill-seekers can literally take part in some gravity-defying act here and fulfill their dream of flying.
- Monday to Thursday, 12.00 PM – 9.00 PM
- Friday & Sunday, 12.00 PM – 10.00 PM
- Saturday, 12.00 PM – 11.00 AM
Want to take a part in a graving battlefield? All you need to do is to head for the X-Strike facility in Dubai. This is a fascinating indoor game centre that delivers a sufficient dose of action-packed entertainment for battlefield VR game lovers.
To intensify your gaming experience more, X-Strike uses the latest technology from iCombat USA’s laser-targeting system. This creates a hyper-realistic world for you so that you never miss a thing happening in real-life combat scenes.
As they use non-projectile laser-targeting technology, both laser tag novice and VR combat pro can enjoy their gaming sessions at X-Strike. Apart from real war-zone experiences, this gaming centre houses a party-friendly venue to celebrate with friends and family.
- Monday to Friday, 03.00 PM – 12.00 AM
- Saturday & Sunday, 1.30 PM – 12.00 AM
5. Raceroom at Dubai Autodrome
Dubai Autodrome is the first fully-integrated motorsports facility in the Middle East. This world-class facility includes a groundbreaking VR facility, the Raceroom. This space has been particularly designed for people who wish to experience the excitement of driving a cart without hitting the real-life racing track.
Raceroom is undeniably one of the best VR experiences in Dubai where formula one car racing is a rage among the people. The virtual track of the Raceroom throws serious challenges just like the real ones do. You can compete with a maximum of nine other people at a time.
Timings: Sunday to Thursday, 9.00 AM – 5.00 PM
6. Dreamscape Dubai, Mall of the Emirates
Dreamscape is an innovative virtual reality destination, sheltered under the roof of the Mall of the Emirates. It incorporates a state-of-the-art motion sensor technology coupled with virtual reality to take your VR experience to new heights.
Dreamscape has different stories to be indulged in. The participant can choose from many options for an unparalleled cinematic VR experience. The main attractions of this place are MIB: The First Assignment, The Curse of The Lost Pearl, The Blu, Alien Zoo and Dragon’s Flight Academy.
- Sunday to Wednesday, 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM
- Thursday to Saturday, 10.00 AM – 11.00 PM
The Best Places in Dubai for Arcade Games
Arcade games are classics and they resonate with a large chunk of gaming enthusiasts. Fortunately, for retro gamers, Dubai has got plenty of wonderful places where joystick brings the true ‘joy’. Here are those cool arcade gaming places in Dubai.
1. Brass Monkey
For a one-stop venue for all kinds of arcade gaming activities in Dubai, you have no other better place than Brass Monkey in Bluewaters Island.
Growing young again is very much possible with this arcade café’s pulsating ambiance. Old-school gaming, with Pac-Man by your side, never looked this promising unless Brass Monkey did it.
Whoever thinks a gaming place and a bar don’t mix, probably have never been to Bass Monkey. With more than 60 arcade game consoles, a VR racing simulator, bowling lanes and an extremely funky bar corner, this place has got everything to take your fancy.
Location: Bluewaters Island, The Wharf, Dubai
- Sunday, 12.00 PM -1.00 AM
- Monday & Tuesday, 4.00 PM – 1.00 AM
- Wednesday, 4.00 PM – 2.00 AM
- Thursday & Friday, 4.00 PM – 3.00 AM
- Saturday, 12.00 PM – 3.00 AM
2. Rails Gaming Centre, JLT
For a wholesome gaming session, Rails JLT is the number one premier gaming lounge in Dubai. This place allows gamers to play, eat and drink in a cool ambience. This ‘gamer’s paradise’ has a stunning collection of gadgets and equipment so that nobody has to wait too long to enter their spectacular gaming zone.
Although Rails JLT comes with a vast collection of video games, Call of Duty, Rocket League, League of Legends and Minecraft are the most favourite ones. PlayStation 4 units and Intel i7 PCs paired with optical mice, hardwired keyboards and high-quality headsets in this place are all meant to deliver a fabulous gaming experience all through.
Furthermore, you can get some delicious munching options at Rails JLT. So, you can come here with your gang and spend the whole day fighting over food and game scores.
Timings: Everyday 10.00 AM – 3.00 PM
3. Magic Planet
When you want video games, a soft play area, trampolines and many fun activities under one roof, it is time to head for Magic Planet. This place offers an array of arcade games and rides for children and teenagers.
We don’t mind in case you want to try your hands on them along with your kids. Yes, this gaming zone is addictive!
The best part is, you can spot Magic Planet branches all across the city, particularly at the famous shopping malls. All these facilities will keep your children glued and safe too while you can dive into a shopping spree at the mall.
- Level 2, The Mall of The Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Barsha 1, Dubai
- Level 1, Deira City Centre, 8th Street, Dubai
- Level 1, North Entrance and South Entrance, Mirdif City Centre, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Road, Dubai
- Level S3, Burjuman Centre, 28 A Street, Al Mankhool, Dubai
- Level 1, M’eaisem City Centre, IMBZ, Dubai Sport City, Dubai
- Wafi City, Level 2, Right above Carrefour, Dubai
Timings: To check the opening hours for each Magic Planet outlet, you can click here.
4. Dubai Bowling Centre
Bowling alleys and traditional arcade games go great together! Dubai Bowling Centre understood this and they created this stunning place for gamers to have fun, all day long. This gaming zone is tremendously popular in Dubai for those exciting arcade games and enticing activities.
Dubai Bowling Centre is also a fantastic choice for throwing your kid’s birthday party. Colourful interior, fun-packed games and a fabulous food court are all that you need to set the party mode on.
Location: Al Quoz 1, Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai
- Saturday to Wednesday, 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM
- Thursday & Friday, 10.00 AM – 1.00 AM
5. The Arcade by Hub Zero
The Arcade by Hub Zero is the ultimate gaming destination in Dubai. This splendid place takes gaming seriously and brings gaming to life. It (formerly known as Hub Zero) has always been an arcade fan favourite with tons of gaming options.
The star attractions at The Arcade include sports games, pop culture games and retro games. Till this date, it is living up to the lofty standards of arcade gaming with more than 50 varieties in their stock.
This venue is particularly known for their Lan games along with the old-school arcade machine games. But that’s not everything about The Arcade. The facility allows guests to play laser tag and other interactive games with best-in-class gadgets and facilities. Their 4D cinema and escape games are also quite popular.
- Saturday to Wednesday, 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM
- Thursday & Friday, 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM
6. Que Club
Que Club is for those who are looking to hone in on their PC gaming skills.
This gaming centre with two branches at Al Barsha and Bur Dubai is ruling the hearts of gaming fanatics in Dubai. apart from gaming, all their two outlets offer billiards and snooker.
Que Club facilities house hundreds of top-of-the-line computers. So, it is perfect to bring your gang and play in groups. They also organize monthly gaming tournaments at the VIP section for games like League of Legends and Dota 2.
- Bur Dubai, Oud Metha Area, Near Lamcy Plaza Mall, Dubai
- Al Barsha 1, Opposite Dubai America Academy, Emerald Properties Building, Dubai
- Thursday to Monday, 10.00 AM – 3.00 AM
- Tuesday & Wednesday, 10.00 – 2.00 AM
7. Last Resort Game Zone
For that premiere experience in the arena of eSport PC games, the Last Resort Game Zone is the answer that every gamer in Dubai will swear by.
With high-spec computers and spectacular gaming ambience, this place is the best place in town to enjoy your favourite games.
Last Resort Game Zone is also a great place to socialise with other gamers and exchange those little game tricks. The café here offers delicious food and drinks. This gaming centre also hosts frequent tournaments and bestows the winners with loads of rewards.
Timings: Everyday from 11.00 AM to 3.00 AM
The Best Places in Dubai for Active Gaming
Dubai’s sun is not at all merciful. But don’t worry. The city is dotted with some of the best indoor active gaming places in the region. To keep you on your toes, we are here with a list of the best active gaming places from the futuristic city of Dubai.
1. Adventure Zone
For some intense indoor actions in the comfort of an air-conditioned atmosphere, there has to be one place – the Adventure Zone in Galleria Mall. This facility allows your kids to lost in the world of exciting physical games. Anything you see here requires your body to face the challenge.
The variety that Adventure Zone offers High Ropes, Low Ropes, Climbing Pinnacle, Skatepark, Trampoline Park, Themed Funwalls, Soft Play Area and Ninja Course. You can even host your kid’s birthday party here to surprise his/her whole gang.
- Weekdays, 12.00 PM – 9.00 PM
- Weekends, 11.00 AM – 9.00 PM
2. Dubai Sports World
Want to work up a sweat with your favourite indoor game? Dubai Sports World is the best place to try your hand in a wide variety of active sports games. This facility has curated best possible environment for a series of games and the only difference is you can play them indoors without getting burnt under the scorching Dubai sun.
If you are a sports fanatic, then Dubai Sports World gives you every chance to play friendly as well as competitive. From Football playground to the cricket pitch, from badminton court to ping-pong table – all your favourite sporting action is brought to life!
Timings: Everyday from 8.00 AM to 12.00 AM
3. Sky Zone
Sky Zone is the brand-new activity park at Ibn Battuta Mall where you can burn out your energy with some serious physical games.
This massive indoor park covers an area of 35,000 square feet, featuring fully-walled trampoline courts. Whether you are in for freestyle jumping or a game of dodgeball, Sky Zone has it all.
You will be spoilt with choices at Sky Zone as they have as many as 15 attractions for you. Some of the star attractions include Freestyle Jump, Skyslam, Zipline, Dodgeball, Tug of War, Wipe Out, Warped Wall and Warrior Course.
- Sunday to Wednesday, 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM
- Thursday to Saturday, 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM
4. Air Maniax
For all age groups, Air Maniax Dubai is a wonderful place to have great fun. The time you spent here will never leave you with a moment of dullness. Burning off your energy at Air Maniax Dubai can leave you with an unforgettable memory with your kids and family for a life-time.
Spreading over a whopping area of 23,000 square feet, this is Dubai’s most sought-after multi-activity arena. If you consider the inflatable arena, then it is the largest in the city. Air Maniax activities are designed to boost your mood and your health too. You will love their laser tag game, obstacle courses, zip line and more.
Location: 16/ Street, Al Quoz Ind, Area 1, Dubai
- Monday to Thursday, 12.00 PM – 8.00 PM
- Friday, 12.00 PM – 10.00 PM
- Saturday, 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM
- Sunday, 10.00 AM – 9.00 PM
5. Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo
Not really gaming but a must mention when speaking of active things to do in Dubai. There is hardly anything as enthralling and intriguing for an indoor activity in Dubai as the Dubai Aquarium & Underwater Zoo.
This is the place where you can meet giants of the sea like sharks, stingrays and crocodiles in a breath-taking journey to the mesmerizing world of underwater. Your experience with Dubai Aquarium is not just fun but educational too.
All their carefully curated underwater experiences are truly unique and you can pick your favourite ones to meet those cute penguins and otters or ferocious crocodiles, sharks and stingrays. All these activities are completely safe under the supervision of expert trainers and guides.
- Monday to Thursday, 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM
- Friday to Sunday, 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM
6. Bounce Dubai
Bounce Dubai is that one place that fulfils your dream of doing those cool gravity-defying acts. This is the world’s first Freestyle Terrain Park that flaunts a marvellous collection of freestyle stunts, trampolines, parkour elements and ninja courses.
Your dayout at Bounce Dubai will involve tons of rapid movements, creative expression and human connection. Their activities are simply infectious. Bounce will make you forget about the serious stuff and lost in the immersive realm of fun and adventure.
- Monday to Friday, 11.00 AM – 8.00 PM
- Saturday, 10.00 AM – 9.00 PM
- Sunday, 10.00 AM – 8.00 PM
7. Ski Dubai
Enjoy the snow, meet the chirping penguins and take lesson of skiing at Ski Dubai. This is literally the ‘coolest’ attraction in the city where you have 22,500 square metres of ice bed to try out various activities apart from skiing.
The park features a ski slope where snowboarders and ski-lovers put their best effort to feel the chilly vibe. Ice cave, zorbing ball, Mountain Thriller ride and penguin shows are the most popular things to try at Ski Dubai. To warm you up after a super-chilled encounter with ice, they have the Avalanche and Ice Café for you.
- Monday to Friday, 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM
- Saturday and Sunday, 9.00 AM – 12.00 AM
8. Dubai Kartdrome
Taste the sheer joy of speed with Dubai Kartdrome in Dubai Motor City.
This is the best outdoor (they have an indoor facility too) place in the city where you can bring your inner Lewis Hamilton out! With a 1.2-kilometre karting track paired with 17 turns (number 6, 7 and 8 are full-throttle with a single swift grip), it’s time to go for some adrenaline-pumping action.
The indoor track at Dubai Kartdrome can accommodate up to ten drivers at a time. So, you can easily bring your best team of friends to enjoy a joyful yet competitive ride. This spot is dotted with a tunnel and a bridge to test your driving skill and reflex level. Go-karting is surely exceptional here.
- Sunday to Wednesday, 2.00 PM – 12.00 AM
- Thursday to Saturday, 8.00 AM – 12.00 AM
Wavehouse is a one-stop fun factory that caters to the need of kids, teenagers and adults – all under one roof. This place is majorly appreciated for its water-based activities but it’s got even more for you. It’s time to don your trainers and indulge in some blood-pumping watersports.
With bowling, arcade games, a sprawling bar and a well-décor restaurant, Wavehouse knows exactly how to keep you entertained. Challenging your body and then chilling out with swag is Wavehouse all about.
Timings: Open daily from 12.00 PM to 1.00 AM
10. Paintball Dubai
If you are a paintball junkie, then it’s time to suit up and unleash your shooting skill with the best paintball facility in the city – the Paintball Dubai. All the battlefields at Paintball Dubai depict original battle scenes. The gaming atmosphere is too realistic to ignore. The only difference is you have got a paint gun instead of the real one.
In the arena, you can opt for classic paintball games like Capture the Flag or the team elimination battle. You can level up your experience with a C.I.A agent to escort an unarmed player to the other side untouched or play a spy who overcomes those well-placed moles.
Timings: Open from Tuesday to Sunday, 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM. Booking is required.
11. Thrill Zone
It’s all in the name and Thrill Zone lives up to the name as well as your expectation! This one-of-its-kind laser tag place in Dubai. This arena brings those gigantic dinosaurs back while delivering you a laser tag machine to handle those beasts.
Thrill Zone’s hi-tech combat mechanism is suitable for both kids and adults. Their Jurassic Park-themed laser-tag arena is backed by best audio-visual effects to make your gaming experience more realistic and convincing.
- Sunday to Wednesday, 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM
- Thursday to Saturday, 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM
The Best Board Game Cafes in Dubai
Dubai never lets you have a boring weekend with the varied assortment of social activities happening in the city. When you want food, fun and some fun games simultaneously, Dubai has got those board game cafes for you.
These cafes are trendy and equally entertaining. Here are the best board game cafes in Dubai to bring your childhood and nostalgia back.
1. Unwind Café
There is probably no better name and place in Dubai than Unwind Café to freshen up with more than 700 games. Yes, you heard it right. This place features an insane collection of board games to keep you glued forever!
Established in 2019, this café is also known for their delicious menu ranging from breakfast items to dinner platters. At Unwind, you can play your favourite board game and enjoy your favourite food with a bunch of friends at the same time.
Note: You need to pay extra to play the games at the café.
- Sunday to Wednesday, 4.00 PM – 12.00 AM
- Thursday, 4.00 PM – 1.00 AM
- Friday & Saturday, 2.00 PM – 1.00 AM
2. The Workshop Dubai
The Workshop Dubai is one of the trendiest cafes in the town. It is hard to describe this place with a singularity. It’s a fine blend of an art gallery, a concept store, a workshop and a board game café. The Boho interior of the café is quite welcoming, making it a perfect place for leisurely chats with friends.
The Workshop Dubai is a treasure trove for those traditional gaming enthusiasts who love to have good company on the table and delicious food on the platter while figuring out the best strategical move to win the game. The café features classic board games including Upwards, Pictionary, Guess Who, Jackaroo and many more.
- Monday to Saturday, 8.00 AM – 10.00 PM
3. The Six
Just like Downtown Dubai is the most happening district of the city, The Six is the most attractive board game café in the area. This fantastic café features a cute and cosy interior with a huge collection of more than 1000 board games. Isn’t this amazing!
If you try a new game at The Six but don’t know how to play, nothing to worry. Their Team Gurus will explain the game to you and even play a round with you. To refuel your body for an amazing gaming session, their menu card incorporates sushi, pasta, main courses, salads, beverages and more for you.
- Sunday to Thursday, 9.00 AM – 12.00 AM
- Friday & Saturday, 9.00 AM – 2.00 AM
4. Hive Board Game Café
Just when you think you have enough of those classic board games and there’s nothing left for you to explore, Hive Board Game Café will shatter your notion.
With an enviable collection of 500+ board games, you will find it difficult which one to pick up. Sometimes their games may get on your nerves too with those never-before game tricks!
The café sports an uber-cool interior. So, you can take a few snaps for your Instagram timeline. Thanks to a judicial colour selection, the mural paintings on the brick walls look fabulous. To replenish your energy, the café comes with lip-smacking foods and drinks.
- Sunday to Wednesday, 12.00 PM – 12.00 AM
- Thursday to Saturday, 12.00 PM – 2.00 AM
5. Public Café
Tucked in one of those plush clusters in Jumeirah Lake Towers, Public Café is one of the most exciting places for board game patrons. With the intoxicating aroma of freshly brewed coffee and bread, this café is truly a pleasant spot in Dubai to live your childhood days with some good old board games like Monopoly, Backgammon, Ludo & Snakes and chess.
This café is immensely praised for their freshly prepared salads, sandwiches, juices and mouth-watering desserts. Fighting those cravings is easy when you are at the Public Café with your best buddies and the best board game.
- Sunday to Thursday, 8.00 AM – 10.00 PM
- Friday & Saturday, 8.00 AM – 7.00 PM
6. Charade Dubai
Charade Dubai Café is a triple treat where you can witness some quirky yet intriguing artworks, have tasty bites and top of all, you have a golden chance to play loads of funky board games. What’s more! Tucked into the upscale neighbourhood of Jumeirah 1, this café is known for its comfort food and gigantic shakes.
Charade Dubai has got everything right to flaunt a serious hipster vibe. The interior is done insanely cool and visitors can chew on chicken wings and take a deep sip from the shake to roll that dice on a Jumanji board or scratch their heads with Cluedo. Board games at Charade are so classic.
Timings: Everyday from 12.00 PM to 1.00 AM
7. Tea Junction Café & Lounge
Next on our list is the Tea Junction Café & Lounge. Nestled in Oud Metha and far away from the bustling city crowd, this café is a perfect place to put all your concentration on your board game while hanging out with your favourite buddies. As the name says it all, this is the place to relish the aromatic delights like Kashmiri Tea and Wild Arabian Tea and more.
The aesthetically made rustic interior of the café gives out a nostalgic feel which complements the board game set up nicely. Here you can spend hours playing Cards, Jenga, Chess or other board games to bond with old folks and even complete strangers.
Timings: Everyday from 9.00 AM to 2.00 AM
8. Back To Games
Not exactly a café but Back to Games is the ultimate board game destination for all those who are still in love with this traditional way of reliving childhood fun. This store is literally overflowing with an unimaginable collection of all sorts of board games ranging from North American to European versions.
This place allows players to try their more than 150 demo games in-store for free. Guests can also bring their own games to the store. They have got board games, card games, miniature games, puzzles, role-playing games and even gaming supplies for you. It’s indeed a gamer’s paradise. Isn’t it!
- Times Square Centre, Ground Floor, Sheikh Zayed Road, Al Quoz, Dubai
- Town Centre Jumeirah, Ground Floor, Jumeirah Street, Jumeirah, Dubai
- All days from 10.00 AM to 10.00 PM (Al Quoz outlet)
- Saturday to Wednesday 10.00 AM – 10.00 PM, Thursday & Friday 10.00 AM – 12.00 AM (Jumeirah outlet)
9. Pete’s Midnight Café
When you’re looking for a home away from home to hang out and freedom to play your favourite board games till midnight in Dubai, there is only one place to head for – the Pete’s Midnight Café. Great music, engaging games, friendly people, yummy menu and cozy ambience, this café has got so much to offer.
Pete’s Midnight Café looks exactly like those picture-perfect hill-station cafes. It showcases a well-curated collection of board games ranging from Monodeal to Jenga, Uno to Spot and Ludo to Snakes & Ladders. Good food and wonderful games – the combination is jaw-dropping.
Timings: Everyday from 9.00 Am to 12.00 AM
10. Garage Café
We will end our list of best board game cafes in Dubai with the Garage Café.
Settled in the stunning neighbourhood of Oud Metha area, this café brings magical worlds of shish and classic board games together. Although they are particularly celebrated for their live singing and match screening facilities, but their board game collection is impressive.
Certainly, they don’t own the largest collection of board games but all their games are fun and give a very retro feel. Whoever wishes to have a wonderful time with friends over a round of board games, Garage Café welcomes them cordially.
Location: 101 Umm Hurair Road, Oud Metha, Dubai
Timings: Open 24 hours
We have included everything that a game fanatic in Dubai can look for. Hopefully, this article will help you find the best place to game around in the city without investing much time and effort. Just keep playing!