Welcome to Boom town, home of prosecco pong…

In a time where ‘dinner and a show’ occupies a large part of the new leisure venue stage in Dubai, it’s refreshing to see concepts that give you a starring role in your own show. That’s manifestly the mission at Boom Battle Bar, taking the old Stereo Arcade space in DoubleTree By Hilton Jumeirah Beach, which juggles the roles of being an industrially-edged chrome and neon bar, as well as an emporium of engaging hands-on, gamified activities. Here, you can eat, drink, be merry, and play a back nine of putt-putt golf.

Wanna play a game?

The collection of activities available at Boom Battle Bar includes the aforementioned nine holes of crazy golf; axe throwing; interactive, projection-enhanced darts; beer (and prosecco) pong; and shuffleboard. We’ve also been told that karaoke will soon be dropping the mic here too. It’s a compound offering that’s entirely unique in Dubai, with each of the interactive side hustles having been recruited for their competitive qualities, as well as their fun quotient. Hence the ‘Battle’ in the title.

Hold my beer

The co-opping element lands the bar its cleanest bullseye. Whether you’re going with your mates or a date, being able to go head-to-head over a game of skill, and all for fun, taps into a core aspect of primordial humanity. Friendships are strengthened (occasionally torpedoed) and the experiences have immense replayability, because your skills are only likely to sharpen with each encounter. One more game, double or quits.

Prices are mostly based on activity slots rather than per person. You can get 60 minutes of augmented reality darts for Dhs225, 30 mins of axe throwing for Dhs215, 30 mins of shuffleboard for Dhs120, beer pong from Dhs195, and a round of ‘crazier golf’ is Dhs65 per person.

The final axe

Of all the games on show, the axe throwing is probably the What’s On favourite. “Have you ever thrown an axe before?” Asked Mary, our friendly expert instructor. I kept my suspicion that I might have been Ragnor Lothbrok in a previous life to myself and instead say “only once, but never in anger”. Which in retrospect, raised its own red flags.

And then you let the hatchets of war fly. Channelling a spirit delegation of ululating Commanche (though apparently taking a run up to the throw line is frowned upon), and sending a handled blade after handled blade spinning into the wood with an eerily satisfying thud. There are various game formats to test your chopper form, with pixelated moving and static targets projected onto the board.

Prior to hurling, you have to sign a waiver and there is a strict no-alcohol-before-axe-in-wall rule. A good thing, given the average post-brunch crowd.

Hit refresh

With the twinkling lights around it, the menu isn’t likely to be the primary driver of traffic to Boom, but it’s certainly worth exploring. We ordered an intermission spread of chicken wings (Dhs53), halloumi (Dhs45), braised wagyu beef sliders (Dhs74), tendies (Dhs59) and some fully loaded nachos (Dhs52), and can confirm, it’s pub snack tapas that slaps.

Verdict: Boom Battle Bar enters its player name at the top of our high score table for new gaming bars in Dubai.

Boom Battle Bar Dubai, DoubleTree by Hilton JBR, The Walk, opening July 15. @boom.dxb

Images: Provided