Immersive Experiences (IEX) plans to double its portfolio over five years

Immersive Experiences (IEX)

Dubai-based Immersive Experiences (IEX) plans to double its portfolio of offerings over the next five years, and is recovering well despite the outbreak of COVID-19.

IEX is an investment fund that launches and operates flagship entertainment and leisure concepts within the Middle East and North Africa market (MENA).

The company launched XStrike, an indoor live-action combat simulation, in Dubai in December 2019. It is set to launch Woo-hoo!, a state-of-the-art edutainment center, in September 2020.

According to Arabian Business, further openings are planned across the UAE and wider Gulf Corporation Council (GCC) region over the next year.

Sameer Ali, co-founder and managing partner of IEX, told Arabian Business: “We are looking at expanding. We’re looking at multiple stores in the UAE.

“We’re looking at expanding across Dubai and Abu Dhabi at the moment. We’re also looking at inter-GCC expansion, so we’re looking at Saudi Arabia, in Qatar.”

IEX launched XStrike last year in Dubai

As well as XStrike and Woo-hoo!, IEX offers MultiVRse, a bespoke virtual reality (VR) theme park, and Wipeout, an action-packed experience as seen on TV.

Ali added: “In five years’ time we’re looking at having multiple facilities across the GCC and the MENA region and we’re looking at expanding our portfolio of concepts.

“We currently have five concepts in our portfolio and we don’t see any reason why we can’t double that in the next five years, with a caveat being as long as it’s something new and as long as it’s a ‘hidden gem’ that hasn’t been discovered.”

IEX was formed in 2017 and raised $10 million to launch. “We’ve seen tremendous success since we launched,” said Ali. “Our first three months were very strong.”

“We were hitting numbers in March, which was our third month in operations, which we had forecasted for months seven and eight,” he said.

IEX expanding across Dubai and Abu Dhabi

Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Ali said the company is recovering “a lot faster than what we had previously imagined”.

“This is testament to the pent-up demand there was during the lockdown,” he explained.

Ali went on to say that “savvy, sophisticated investors are recognising that this is an industry that’s poised to grow moving forward”.

“We’ve received a lot of interest. At the moment we’re not looking for any financial partners, we’re looking at strategic partners. We may be looking at additional fundraising rounds in the future to invest in additional projects.”

The Ark Encounter, a creationist theme park in Kentucky, has also launched a new virtual reality experience called Truth Traveler, with its first show ‘A Flood of Reality’.