Feel the thrill, GLITCH-free

August 31, 2023 | By Rupkatha B

Bert Grogor, Vice President of Leisure & Entertainment at Al Ghurair Investment

Owned and operated by Al Ghurair Properties, GLITCH is ready to take entertainment to new heights with Dubai’s only indoor roller glider.

Spanning 40,000 sqft on Level 2 of Al Ghurair Centre, a new entertainment venue has recently opened its doors in Dubai. Built for thrill seekers this family entertainment centre offers over 30 interactive attractions, including ninja warrior courses, climbing walls, a virtual reality (VR) arcade and bowling. What’s more the venue is ready to take entertainment to new heights with Dubai’s only indoor roller glider, which allows visitors to zip around the ceiling from 10-metres in the air.

In a conversation with IMAGES RetailME, Bert Grogor, Vice President of Leisure & Entertainment at Al Ghurair Investment, discussed how this new family entertainment centre GLITCH is planning to stand out in a rather crowded market.

Let’s start with the state of leisure and entertainment in the UAE. Tell us about the growth opportunities, challenges and how visitor behaviour has changed.

The leisure and entertainment industry in the UAE has experienced significant growth over the years. The country’s strong tourism sector, vibrant expatriate population and the growing local community have contributed to the industry’s expansion. However, the pandemic also posed several challenges for our industry, leading to temporary closures and changes in visitor behaviour. People have become more cautious about health and safety measures and are seeking unique experiences that provide a sense of safety and excitement [alongside value for money].

What are some factors that you considered before launching a new entertainment concept in a mature market like Dubai?

Before launching a new entertainment concept, we always carefully consider three factors. Firstly, we conduct extensive market research to identify gaps and opportunities which are categorised by location, price point competitiveness, guest ages and commercially viable attractions that are fun and exciting. We call this ‘FFPA’ [fit for purpose attractions]. Secondly, we focus on creating a differentiated experience that sets us apart from competitors, whether through innovative technology, immersive storytelling or through the introduction of new attractions. Finally, we assess the scalability and long-term sustainability of the concept to ensure its viability in the market.

Over to GLITCH – what makes it unique? How has the initial visitor reaction been?

The uniqueness of GLITCH goes beyond its offerings. Even our brand name was conceptualised to break away from the crowd and establish a memorable identity. Unlike parks, lands and zones that can be easily confused, our name stands out and resonates with our guests. We strive to inspire our guests to be active, move and tap into their limitless potential. By encouraging individuals to unleash their inner extra, we foster an environment that promotes engagement, fun and a sense of adventure. GLITCH stands out as a distinctive family entertainment centre by combining three elements – entertainment, activity and a distinct brand identity.

Since we opened our doors on June 19, GLITCH has welcomed over 72,000 guests. This number was further boosted by the surge in visitor footfall during the Eid Al Adha holidays, therein having a positive ripple effect on the Al Ghurair Centre mall.

After Sindbad’s Wonderland this is Al Ghurair’s second leisure and entertainment concept, how will GLITCH contribute to the overall growth and transformation of the Group?

As Al Ghurair embarked on its transformation journey three years ago, the focus on leisure and entertainment became a crucial component of our strategic initiatives. Sindbad’s Wonderland, being the first entertainment centre in Dubai, holds a special place in the history and memories of both Al Ghurair Group and the community it served. With GLITCH, Al Ghurair is making a resurgence into the entertainment sector, bringing a fresh and innovative concept to captivate audiences once again. While GLITCH represents a new chapter in Al Ghurair’s journey, it also carries with it the legacy and fond memories of Sindbad’s Wonderland. By introducing GLITCH, we are reaffirming our dedication to the leisure and entertainment sector, demonstrating our ongoing commitment to meet the evolving needs and desires of the community.

How does the venue infuse technology with human touch to resonate with different age groups?

At GLITCH, we do this in various ways.

  • Safety video with iPads: Kids are more adept at playing with gadgets than paying attention to a TV screen, so we prioritise safety and efficiency by using iPads to deliver informative safety videos to our younger guests. This ensures that important instructions are conveyed clearly and enhances the overall guest experience.
  • Semnox Systems card and wristband system: To streamline operations and enhance convenience, we have implemented the Semnox Systems card and wristband system. This allows guests to easily access and enjoy our attractions, making transactions and entry processes seamless.
  • PlayNeo immersive gaming experience: Our PlayNeo immersive gaming experience takes gaming to the next level. Through advanced technology and interactive gameplay, we create an engaging and thrilling environment that appeals to children aged 4-13 years.
  • Online card purchase and top-ups: Soon, we will be introducing the convenience of online card purchases and top-ups. This feature will enable guests to easily manage their cards and credits from the comfort of their own devices, making their visits to GLITCH even more convenient and hassle-free.

Finally, have you put in place measures to operate GLITCH sustainably? If so, please share some examples.

Operating as sustainably as possible is a priority at GLITCH and towards this goal we have put in place many measures.

  • Paperless disclaimers: We have embraced paperless practices by digitising our disclaimers and waivers. This helps us to reduce paper consumption and minimise waste.
  • Sustainable procurement: We actively seek out environmentally friendly products and materials. By choosing sustainable options in our procurement process, we minimise our environmental impact.
  • Waste management: We have established a comprehensive waste management system to promote recycling and minimise waste generation. Recycling bins are conveniently placed throughout our venue to encourage guests and staff to recycle properly.
  • Energy efficiency: We are committed to energy efficiency. We use LED lighting, energy-efficient equipment and optimised HVAC [heating, ventilation and air-conditioning] systems to minimise energy consumption and reduce our carbon footprint.

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