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Trip Report: Dubai VR Park 'Hub Zero'

By Grant Duvall

This is an interesting review for Creepy Kingdom, as this is the first time I have ever covered something that has permanently closed since I visited. I'm assuming it's a permanent closure, as the website is gone. On their Facebook page, they announced closure in the middle of January, and when people asked if they were reopening, they responded with, "We are currently closed, please check out another activity instead." Sadly, this isn't much of a surprise.

As I've been saying in almost every review, the Go Dubai Card is key to checking out most major attractions in Dubai. This was one of them, and it was a one-minute walk from the Green Planet. This was a giant arcade that opened in phases, meaning that the arcade games would open at 11, but the attractions would open at noon. There were tons of great arcade games from all over the world to try. One highlight is that there was a Void VR experience themed to Ghostbusters.

As a Ghostbusters fan, this was the huge reason that I went. The Void, of course, was an extra charge, as were the arcade games (it was set up where the few rides and laser tag experiences were all included, but extras were not). I had never tried the Void before, and was shocked with how heavy the equipment was. I went in with two local guys, and loved how immersive it was. You could open up doors, and feel the floor crumble beneath you, all while being in the safety of a small room. I even got slimed (wet) by Slimer, and got to fight the Stay Puft Marshmallow man.

The other big highlight was the Resident Evil dark ride. This was similar to Toy Story Midway Mania, but on a trackless system. The 3-4 minute ride took visitors through the Umbrella lab, as you wore 3D goggles through practical and screen-based sets. The ride itself was very middling, and the shooting did not feel on point. However, as this was a trackless, dark ride, themed to a horror franchise in an indoor arcade, how could you really complain?

Unfortunately, there were two other activities I wanted to try, but was not able to. One was a flying simulator on a system similar to Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey, except stationary, in front of a screen themed to the Dragon Age franchise. The big problem was that there was a weight limit of 200 pounds. Most American men I know, and even many of the locals in the UAE, were over 200 pounds. You would have thought that a ride built within the last 10 years would have been built for modern sizes.

The other big attraction was a Final Fantasy-themed ride. As a huge Final Fantasy fan, I was excited to go one a ride through the world of Final Fantasy. However, they told me that it had been broken for a year, and they did not know when it would reopen. We now know the answer is never. Apparently, the ride was an immersion tunnel. If you have never done one, this is a ride where you wear 3D glasses, and get put in a large Star Tours-type vehicle with other people, that is not enclosed. Then you move about 10 feet, into a screen room, where it gives you the illusion of movement. This is the same technology for the Kong ride at Universal, as well as the Fast and the Furious Supercharged ride.

There were also karaoke rooms, playgrounds, laser tag arenas themed to video game properties, 3D theaters, rock walls, and playgrounds. Sadly, a lot of it was closed. While I feel like the bones for a great park were there, the restrictions and lack of maintenance - plus attractions that opened throughout the day (which was a theme of Dubai) - really hurt it. Maybe one day this will come back from the dead, with a new buyer that can put the care into it, or at least move the Resident Evil ride somewhere else. Hub Zero, you had so much potential, but sadly, no one saw you.

Creepy score - 4 out of 10. The Resident Evil ride was creepy, but not much else was.


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