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Stereo Arcade, Dubai

20 August 2015

If you’re a fan of retro arcade games like Pac-Man, Mario Bros and Street Fighter II, come and relive your youth in Dubai Marina.

Alive music venue and club that celebrates the music scene of the 1980s and 1990s, Stereo Arcade is drawing crowds with its unashamed neon nostalgia and handcrafted arcade games.

Samer Hamadeh is the man behind the Tron: Legacy inspired venue, a veteran of the Dubai nightlife scene, he also owned the popular club, Republique in Downtown Dubai, before closing its doors to focus on his new retro arcade venture.

“I believe in knowing your customer above all else, and I know my customers from my past nightlife experiences, which were also very much retro-inspired,” says Samer of his decision to open a 1980s and 1990s retro venue.

“I don’t believe customers like to be surprised at a nightclub; they like consistency when it comes to music; so with the ’80s and ’90s, it’s almost impossible not to please people, who genuinely love those decades in music. Plus we add some fun little elements along the way…”

The fun elements come in the form of 15 arcade games, which sit at the heart of Stereo Arcade and create breathing space between the neon-lit, space-age club with its synth music on the one side and the ’90s-inspired live music rock venue on the other, which plays host to local acts.

For those, who grew up on Sega and Nintendo games, and fondly recall nights lost in the noisy arcadia of bright screens and neon buttons, the arcade parlour is a laidback panacea to busy nights out.

“I’m a gamer at heart…growing up in the ’80s and ’90s I had my home consoles, like the Nintendo Entertainment System and Super Nintendo but the real fun was always going to the arcade,” Samer says. “This is why I flew out to Bristol, to one of the oldest multi-game arcade machine manufacturers, to source the machines. They still build everything by hand and I had the machines painted grey as a tribute to the company that single-handedly saved the video game industry in the mid-1980s… Nintendo. Our customers can enjoy hundreds of arcade games ranging from Pac-Man and Donkey Kong to Street Fighter II & Out Run.”

The attention to detail in Samer’s venue is impressive, golden art installations, painstakingly installed throughout the club evoke a cyberworld, machine-like environment, while the mirrored walls are given a 3D treatment in homage to the computer grid depicted in Tron, the 1982 science fiction film. Across the arcade, the 1990s feel speakeasy and live music sets a different tone, with softer lighting, booths and tables for a more relaxed night out.

Stereo Arcade is located in the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel at the southern end of Jumeirah Beach Residence in Dubai Marina. The arcade and live music venue is open from 6pm, while the nightclub opens at 8pm.




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