Fans can test their skills at Man City's unique ‘City Challenge’ interactive attraction

Yas Marina's world-first destination provides fun immersive football experience

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Football fans can now test their skills at a unique interactive experience after Manchester City launched the "City Challenge" attraction at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi.

Visitors can step into the boots of their heroes and immerse themselves in what it feels like to be Erling Haaland, Kevin De Bruyne, Steph Houghton or Alex Greenwood.

The world-first destination, which comes as a result of the club’s partnership with Aldar, is open to fans of all ages and abilities.

The venue has been designed to recreate the feel of the club's Etihad Stadium and place visitors at the heart of the action, with a locker room, player tunnel and trophy hall as standout features.

To start, each player must create a virtual companion avatar before entering the state-of-the-art game arena, where they will be able to test and improve their skills in a challenging yet fun environment.

Players can tackle 10 unique challenges, one of the highlights of which is to test their scoring abilities against a robot goalkeeper. The challenge was taken up by former City striker Sergio Aguero in November, before the attraction's official launch.

The challenges are designed to measure speed, reflexes and agility, the results of which are tracked and calculated to give a score for each individual's performance.

Scores are also ranked on a dynamic leaderboard, giving players the opportunity to compete against family and friends.

Aside from the gaming experiences, the City Challenge also celebrates Manchester City’s history. It showcases the club’s many achievements including their recent astonishing haul of Champions League, Premier League, Fifa Club World Cup, FA Cup and Uefa Super Cup in the 2022/23 season.

Also on show are iconic kits, dating back as far as 1884, and some of the trophies the club has won over the years.

Coinciding with the City Challenge was the opening of the first official Manchester City store, operated by Puma, last month.

It stocks the latest officially licensed kits, shirts, merchandise and personalised pieces from some of the club’s most famous players. It will soon feature a dedicated area where fans can sit, relax and enjoy live Manchester City games.

“This is a fantastic opportunity for adults and children across the UAE and the Middle East region – whether they’re football fans or not – to enjoy a unique and interactive experience,” Nuria Tarre, chief marketing and fan experience officer at City Group said of the facility launched last week.

“City Challenge will allow visitors to enjoy the spirit of football, celebrate the club’s major achievements in a new way and allow people to connect with Manchester City from afar. We wanted to create something fresh and distinct, and we hope our fans enjoy it.”

The launch of City Challenge further strengthens Manchester City’s enduring partnership with Experience Abu Dhabi, the destination brand of the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi, and the Yas Island portfolio, becoming a key asset for a location already established as one of the world’s leisure and entertainment destinations.

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Updated: December 27, 2023, 12:44 PM