Pick up your passport and travel... to a different universe. Lose yourself in this new reality, where you are encouraged to wander freely and aimlessly, discovering one dream-like sensory experience after another. AYA Universe is a modern art exhibit which can be most accurately described as psychedelic or transcendental.
Located in an unassuming section of Wafi City Mall, it isn’t difficult to see why this place has flown under the radar of so many. The exhibit cleverly executes lighting, mirrors, art, ambient music, and floor design to produce 12 rooms, each with uniquely crafted atmospheres.
Once you enter AYA Universe, you are handed a ‘passport’, with a map included to make sure you don’t get lost. From there, you have free reign to go to any room in any order and stay as long as you like (at least until closing time).
Highlights of the exhibit include ‘Flora’, a rainforest garden environment that goes through a six-minute light show concert that simulates various climate events, such as thunderstorms over multiple phases. This room immerses you with the booming bass of surround sound speakers and bioluminescent gardens that pulse with every shifting moment.
Another notable section is ‘The Falls’, where you can be at the centre of a cylindrical waterfall. The catch? The waterfall flows upside down. Don’t worry; you won’t get drenched. Seemingly defying gravity but really only using some intuitive optical illusionary techniques, this is the perfect spot for a cool picture or video to put on your socials. The exhibit staff know this and often have a cameraman in this particular area ready to take a cinematographic video for you if asked.
Assuming you’re planning to wander AYA Universe for a few hours, the best place to end your journey would be ‘Drift’, where rows of ascending cushioned surfaces sprawl around the room. From there, all that’s left to do is kick back, rest your legs and lie down as a cosmic picture show plays on the ceiling. The ambient speakers in the cushioning are the cherry on top, creating a calming effect through subtle vibrations and music.
The experience at AYA Universe is fun and unique in so many ways. Go with a group of friends, and it’s a great way for everybody to spice up their Instagram page. Go with a date where you can get to know each other’s artistic perspectives and voids in conversation can be filled with mesmerising displays. Or go solo, where for a few hours, you can escape the world where work, school or life in general gets to you and lose yourself in the introspective, meditative atmosphere that AYA Universe cultivates. Each ticket will cost around 100 dirhams, but considering all that the exhibit has to offer and the lack of a time constraint, it’s easy to say that it’s well worth it.
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