Big in Japan: Sega plans to open mega-arcade in Dubai

Here’s a quick question for you:

Name the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions the city of Dubai.

a) Billions and billions of dollars worth of untapped oil reserves
b) Something akin to the Las Vegas of the Arabian Gulf
c) A desert oasis of shopping malls and astronomically expensive hotels
d) More ridiculous bling than the front row of a Ludicrous concert
e) An environmentally unsustainable nightmare built by slave labor

If you answered any or all of the above, by all means you are indeed correct!

However, it is only going to be a few more months before Dubai also boasts what will most likely be the world’s largest video arcade.


From Japan to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Sega is about to launch its brand name on the Arab world.

Last week, a representative from the Japanese game company announced that it intends to build a mega-arcade in the Dubai Mall, which will be completed later this year.

Needless to say, Sega also announced that their first mega-arcade in the Middle East will be unlike anything the world has ever seen before.

So, what is the Dubai Mall you ask? Good question!

The Dubai Mall is scheduled to open in late 2008, and when completed, will be the largest mall in the world.

(In a city of gross excess, this shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise!)

According to Wikipedia, the Dubai Mall is rumored to cover an area of 12.1 million square feet, and will actually be comprised of a dozen smaller malls.

Again, as this is Dubai, keep in mind that ‘small’ is a relative concept.

In total, the Dubai mall will offer 9 million square feet of shopping retail space, and approximately 1200 stores.

In addition to housing the world’s most exclusive brand names, the Dubai Mall will also feature the following absurdities:

– The world’s largest gold souk
– The world’s largest aquarium
– The world’s tallest building, the Burj Dubai

We’re not done…

The Dubai Mall will also feature an Olympic-sized ice skating rink and a towering waterfall – keep in mind people that all of this is in the middle of the desert!

And of course, what shopping mall would be complete without a video arcade!

In America, a generation of children grew up playing Sonic the Hedgehog and other titles, though Sega stopped releasing consoles following the relative failure of the Dreamcast in 2001.

However, in 2004 Sega merged with the Sammy Corporation, the world’s largest pachinko machine manufacturer, and has since then focused on arcade theme parks throughout Japan.

Of course, nothing in Japan will stand a chance of comparing with the mega-arcade in the works.

When completed, the new Sega spot will occupy 75,350 square feet spread out over two floors of the shopping mall.

All I can say is that if you’re planning a trip to Dubai in the near future, you had better start saving your quarters!

** Today’s post is dedicated to my wanderlust-ridden sister, who made her brother incredibly jealous of her exploits by partying it up with royalty in Dubai. **