The adult world, when viewed through the no-homework-tinted spectacles of a child, is a pretty interesting place. Grown-ups might not be able to see the wonder that lies within their everyday life, but kids are fascinated by it. The office, your boss, even the staff canteen all seem impossibly large and, because they’re unknown, more interesting than they almost certainly are.
The idea, then, of an entertainment centre dedicated to simulating the world of work will appeal to children and bemuse adults in equal measure. Parents might be baffled by the fact that kids want to pretend to be hard at work in any number of seemingly routine jobs, but the popularity with children cannot be denied.
That’s why three miniature cities designed specifically for children are set to open over the course of this year and next, each giving kids the chance to simulate fun and educational experiences.
An enormous 8,000 square metre facility, which will be one of the key attractions at the upcoming Mall of Qatar, is due to open in August this year. More than 60 different simulations, including faux fire stations, TV stations, a petrol station, bank and university are part of the opening plans. The official partnership with Qatar Airways means kids will be able to work as cabin crew, too.
An international chain that has seen huge success in Dubai, this is another immersive entertainment experience where kids can try their hand at becoming dentists, journalists, bakers, bankers, firemen and more. The indoor mini-city will be built to scale, complete with buildings, paved streets and even a functioning economy. To make it all the more authentic, KidZanias across the world partner with real-world brands like DHL, HSBC, Nestlé and Toyota. While details of the exact activities on offer have not yet been revealed, it’s on track to open in 2017 at Aspire Zone, adjoining Villaggio Mall and Hyatt Plaza.
Things take a futuristic turn with Juniverse, which is pegged to open in September at Doha Festival City. The mall’s game-changing entertainment zone will be unveiled with a snow park, an Angry Birds theme park and Juniverse, a space-themed edutainment centre with a high concept (Juniverse is made to look like a floating city 400km above Doha). The interactive play will also be linked to a school curriculum, making it informative, as well as fun.