DISCOVER DXB: Escape games in Dubai

We put on our thinking caps and tried our luck at some of Dubai’s challenging escape rooms. But did we make it out alive?


Phobia, JLT

Dark Matter

What was previously known as the famous Vault 13 room, has now re-opened as a new escape game inspired by SyFy’s tv series Dark Matter!

If you’ve played Vault 13 before, you’ll notice that there are a lot of similarities between the two games, making it an easy challenge. But if you haven’t, you must try it out!

Based on the sci-fi TV show, our team was stuck in ‘space’ and had only 60 minutes to find and assemble our spaceship in order to escape and survive! Each challenge that we were faced with was unique, fun and nerve racking at the same time.

Slightly more challenging than most escape rooms, but we still had a great time. And of course, if you’re stuck, the lovely Phobia staff are always there to feed you hints.


Escape Quest, JLT


We tried out ‘The Lab of Dr. Zol’ room, and were briefed about the story right before we entered – there were a couple of scientists who had hidden their secrets inside, covered up with a bunch of clues, distractions, and mysteries to unravel.

With only 60 minutes to get out alive, the four of us had to really work as a team to interpret the clues provided, think way outside the box, look for hidden objects and eventually figure out how to unlock the door to exit!

Of course if you’re stuck, you can ask for hints to get you on the right track.

Unlike a lot of other escape rooms that we’ve tried, this one was actually challenging but at the same time, not ‘unsolvable’. We made it out just three minutes before the timer set off!

Overall, we had a great experience and really enjoyed solving the mystery (some can be a little boring). The clues weren’t too straightforward, and it included some fun and different activities.

Tip: The clues are all hidden really really well, so you may have to look in the same place twice to actually see them.

HDS Business Tower, JLT. Two-five people. 10am-10pm, from AED 120 per person.

Brainscape, Business Bay


Put your team in the role of the hero or crook at one of Dubai’s newest escape houses.

Brainscape has three different challenges and we boldly opt for the medium difficulty DaVinci Lounge.

Intense background music sets the scene as we attempt to source and smuggle out a precious artefact, while a timer on the wall ticks down from 60 minutes.

When the 10-minute mark ticked by, the adrenalin really started following!

Taking on the role of bad guy (albeit a well-intentioned one) comes surprisingly easily to our group and we escape with minutes to spare, without any help from the Brainscape team.

The room has a good balance between props and clues and the puzzles and there’s a strong logical progression leading from one clue to the next.

Experienced gamers and new players were both pleased with the result – especially as we’d struggled to find the building’s entrance (opposite the lifts in the car park, FYI).

Building 12, Bay Square. Two-six players. From AED 110 per person weekdays and AED 125 weekends. 10am-10pm.


Others to try:

21fd2ccf02f66b50df9b5188d1599958Other rooms at Phobia, JLT – X1 and Red Diamond building

Hands down one of our favourites in Dubai. The escape challenges are thought of and planned so well, and it really immerses you in to the whole story. Confused about which rooms to try out? The Museum of Contemporary Art was amazing. To Live was pretty good too, but unfortunately Baker Street didn’t cut it for us.
Starting from AED95,


mus1Braingame, Kanoo Group Building – Karama

Just like the name denotes, Braingame has the most brain-racking escape rooms we have ever attempted. The most difficult of the whole lot, we hardly made it out in time. The first one we tried was The Museum, which we totally recommend! Confusing at first, but once you begin to find the secret doors and compartments – it all starts to fit together and becomes SO much fun! We used almost every hint we could, which is the only way we made it out in time. We also attempted Around the World in 60 minutes. Not even the hints got us through this one, after 60 minutes, we were only halfway done. One for the escape game pros maybe? We loved how challenging Braingame was, and will definitely be back for more. From AED 110, 


DXB03-Game-banner-20160519Escape Hunt, Galleria Mall Jumeirah

As of now, we’ve only tried one game here – Fire in The Tower. The start was really fun and a little simple, but as soon as we got to the next room the real challenge began. The clues in the rooms were a little hard for our little brains to put together, but nothing too extreme. We had to use quite a few hints to make it out in time, but overall it was a good game. More thinking, and less action is required for this. Tip: get a good night’s rest before so you’re completely alert. From AED 175,


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