Join the great escape in true Harry Potter style

Top Stories

Join the great escape in true Harry Potter style
Check out the Harry Potter inspired escape rom in JLT

Step in to the magical world of Harry Potter, complete with a Wizard's Chess set, hats, wands and swords

By Deepa Narwani

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Sat 20 Jan 2018, 10:01 AM

Last updated: Sun 28 Jan 2018, 1:38 PM

Escape rooms are all the buzz in the city, and when I heard that a Harry Potter-themed room had come to town, I decided to check it out. For those who haven't tried it, an escape room is where two to six people are playing a physical adventure game in which players solve a series of puzzles and riddles using clues, hints and strategy to complete the objectives at hand. There are cameras set up to track progress and a Big Brother-style mysterious voice that guides players along and helps with clues if they get stuck.
Located in Jumeirah Lake Towers (JLT), Phobia Escape Games has a room called the Wizard School that is any Potterhead's dream come true and offers a challenge full of secrets and surprises.
Taras Kozyk, co-founder, Phobia Escape Games shares, "We started in February 2016 and have six different rooms. The idea came to me when I was in Moscow, and I saw that these escape games were very popular there. One of my friends had an escape room and invited me to try it out. Once I stepped inside, I really forgot about the outside world and enjoyed it so much that I decided to bring this concept to Dubai."
Try the Vault
One of the popular games here is The Vault. In this game, players have to escape from a nuclear war in a dark underground shelter, where oxygen is low, and they also have to break free of zombies.
But I was there to get a slice of Potter mania, and to get into the groove, they provided us with robes and hats and made us feel like we were actually stepping into the world of Harry Potter. My friends and I made our way on a Saturday afternoon and were amazed to see the queues for this game particularly.
The challenge is to try and save the magical world from an epic collapse and the rule of the Dark Lord. Players have to solve all the different riddles and destroy the evil within 60 minutes of entering the room.
Keeping Ravenclaw's motto of 'wit beyond measure is man's greatest treasure' in mind, we stepped in and were greeted with familiar props from the series such as the Wizard's Chess set and the door of the flying keys chamber from the Philosopher's Stone. I don't want to give away any spoilers but sorting hats, wands, swords and secrets abound the game and it required us to combine our team skills in order to crack the codes and save the day! The experience was indeed fun-filled and challenging enough to keep us engaged throughout.
Elaborating further on escape rooms, Kozyk added, "My aim was to create escape rooms that were fun and I wanted to make people forget about everyday stresses once they step inside and to get away from routine. The games can be played from ages six and above and is all about thinking out of the box. It's a team effort and its good to get groups of two to five friends, family or colleagues, to come together and try different strategies."
These rooms are great for team bonding, provide a break from the mundane, and offer the perfect digital detox! As a Potterhead, I was just excited to finally receive my acceptance letter from a wizarding school!
INFO: Cost: Prices start from Dhs110 per person. Where: Located at JLT, X1 tower, shop S-07.For details, visit www.phobia.ae
Some other escape rooms in Dubai
Hint Hunt: Players are locked in themed rooms and have to put together hidden clues to overcome mental tasks in order to escape the room in 60 minutes. Where: Times Square Centre, For details, www.hinthunt.com
Escape Quest: The games here are brainteasers and players have to crack codes and solve secrets, which will lead to the escape. Where: Cluster M, Jumeirah Lakes Towers, For details, www.escapequest.ae
Brainscape Games: The Da Vinci Room here focuses on code-breaking, symbolism and association problems. Where: Building 12, Bay Square, Business Bay, For details, www.brainscapegames.com
Challenge Chambers: Here each room has a set storyline, which is guided by a Challenge Master. The games are offered in English and Arabic. Where: Sunset Mall, Jumeirah Beach Road, www.challengechambers.com
Escape Reality: They offer eight challenging rooms including Machina, The Iron Kingdom, and Fibonacci, among others. Where: Indigo Sky, 1st Floor, Sheikh Zayed Road, www.escapereality.com
deepa@khaleejtimes.com



More news from