Dubai: Roald Dahl comes alive at school exhibition through augmented reality

Visitors can 'hear’ author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, click pictures with him at exhibition.

By SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Wed 9 Feb 2022, 6:48 PM

Last updated: Wed 9 Feb 2022, 6:49 PM

Students at Repton School in Dubai got a chance to brush shoulders with legendary British author Roald Dahl, at an exhibition held as part of the institute's 15th anniversary celebrations in the UAE.

Thanks to augmented reality (AR), the students were able to ‘hear’ Dahl read from his book and click some cool pictures with him — or rather the augmented version of the former Reptonian who boarded at the school in South Derbyshire from 1930 to 1934.

The exhibition at the Nadd Al Sheba campus, with a special section featuring Dahl, was inaugurated by Dr Abdulla Al Karam, director-general of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA) on February 9 (Wednesday). It will travel to all seven Repton schools in the UAE over the coming months.

Students and visitors get to embark on a captivating journey, as the author of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda and BFG, reads excerpts from his book ‘The Twitts’. A dedicated wall has been put up showcasing the biography and works of the world-renowned author and school alumnus. It includes a first edition copy of the ‘Magic Finger’, a signed first edition of ‘The Twitts’, and an uncorrected proof copy of ‘Going Solo’.

The interactive exhibit showcases the heritage and history of the institution dating back to 1557 in the UK. On show are special artefacts and Repton memorabilia, including the original framed rubbing taken from the school’s founder, Sir John Port and an original graffiti sanitorium board featuring carvings made by students to pass the time in the sick bay, dating back to the 1890’s.

Khalid AlMheiri, chairman of the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE and founder & CEO of Evolvence Group said: “In 2005 we had a vision to bring the esteemed Repton community to the UAE. Today we are proud to be an outstanding-rated school and celebrate 15 years of providing exceptional education to 83 nationalities.”

David Cook, Headmaster of Repton Dubai and chief education officer for the Repton Family of Schools in the UAE and Mark Semmence, headmaster of Repton UK, said that they wanted to commemorate the occasion with a captivating exhibition that showcases Repton values, heritage and traditions.

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