The VR Park – A new, virtual world
Riad Taha is originally from Syria and visited Luxembourg for the first time in 2013. As an IT engineer, he attended the ICT spring conference and was quickly interested in Luxembourg as an evolving marketplace and hotspot for the development of technologies. Having worked in China and Dubai, and always interested in new business opportunities, he started with a small project in Luxembourg: a repair shop for mobile phones and laptops in Ettelbrück.
Riad quickly recognised Luxembourg as a potential site for future endeavours. “I wanted to develop something linking virtual reality and entertainment for a while and was monitoring the progress of the technology”, Riad explains. Soon, he started working on the VR Park project and used his former contacts in China, where the technology is more prevalent, to look for the necessary equipment.
The VR Park is an open entertainment space with several virtual reality machines. These usually consist of two parts: one part is the virtual reality headset which, connected to a computer, puts the user in a simulated three-dimensional world. The second part is the machine that the headset is attached to. It can be anything from a theatre-like seat arrangement to something like a motorbike. These machines then simulate the movement experienced in the virtual world in order to create complete immersion and fun sensations.
New worlds to explore
The VR Park opened its doors for the first time in October 2020 with the Minister for Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises & Tourism, Lex Delles, in attendance. Together with his brother, Riad manages the business side of things, while his team assists the customers with the VR machines. “Usually a simple introduction is enough, after which customers can use the machines to their liking, for a small price of course”, Riad explains.
“The worlds that the customers can experience are just as varied as the customers themselves”, Riad says. Indeed, there is a lot to discover: from action games and movies with zombies and dinosaurs, to machines with games for kids, a projector with a fishing game, or Riad’s own favourite – the space travel experience through our solar system. “There is something for every taste and every age”, as Riad puts it.
“We have a lot of young customers, but also people as old as 65 have tried the VR machines. There is no age barrier or restriction”, Riad explains. “There is something for everyone, whether it is for fun or more educational like the solar system experience.” Riad enjoys that a big variety of customers can enjoy his VR Park, just as much as he enjoys the diversity of the people of Esch.
“Esch feels more international than other places in Luxembourg, it’s very cosmopolitan. People here are of different cultures. They’re all very kind, open-minded and not afraid to try new things.”