The worldwide phenomenon is due to land in Sharjah at the end of this month…

Note: All images shown are of Prison Island Abu Dhabi

Fox managed to get five seasons, and a total of 90 episodes out of the hit show Prison Break but even a marathon screen binge won’t prepare you to beat the challenges contained within Prison Island.

That’s because Prison Island has been designed to test your natural talents — of speed, cunning, strength, agility, calm-in-crisis, puzzle solving, pattern-spotting, making toilet bowl ramen and a resistance to rage quitting. You’re far better off, watching reruns of the Crystal Maze.

Doing time

We should know, we did a decent stretch at the warden’s leisure when the What’s On Award-winning Abu Dhabi outpost first opened up last year. Just one of a now international network of around 68 Prison Island locations across the globe, we stumbled our way through some of the rooms each painstakingly rendered and containing their own fiendishly composed tests of inmate mettle, and came out clean on the other side.

To call it an escape room would be a farcical simplification. This is a series of 26 cells — each one an individal puzzle, wrapped in an enigma, and drizzled in riddle. and you’ll need to beat them all if you want to be crowned as prison kingpin.

We’ve heard strong mess hall whispers that the next location for this cerebral ‘Club Fed’ will be Sharjah, and happily the emirate’s residents shouldn’t have to wait too long to get their Andy Dufresne on either. Prison Island Sharjah should be swinging open those doors by the end of May, 2023. Best get sharpening those makeshift mental shivs.

Prison Island Abu Dhabi

Beyond the various challenge types, there are other themes that run thick through the bars of Prison Island — this idea that it’s a war, an inmate insurrection — guards on guests — a true battle on both sides of the bars.

In the slammer

We do know that things will be a little different at the Sharjah location. But that there will also be some challenges from the Abu Dhabi Alcatraz that are likely to appear in the new venue.

We’re hoping for a return of cells such as Cliffhanger, where much like the movie of the same name, contestants will have to scramble across a series of obstacles without touching the floor. Or the ominously-titled Devil’s Island? Where you’ll need to go full Mission Impossible to snake your way through the illuminated latticework of a tightly-lit laser grid.

Flash Dance requires inmates to leap between specific squares or else face certain disappointment from fellow team members. And AUH’s Gates, requires an elite level of skill, patience, a steady hand and literally nobody standing behind you telling you to ‘hurry up’ as you guide a ball through a collection of entryways.

Competitive? You can chart your progress throughout the popular penitentiary with a leaderboard.

If the pricing stays the same Abu Dhabi location, you should be looking at packages starting around Dhs125. And if you simply can’t wait until the end of the month you’ll find the capital’s location in Abu Dhabi Mall.

Keep locked in to What’s On for the latest updates. And enjoy your freedom, whilst you can.

Abu Dhabi Mall, Al Zahiya, Dhs125,

Images: Provided