Connect With Nature

Driven to inspire a new generation of people to walk the greener path, Emirates Nature-WWF launched the ‘Connect With Nature’ program.

The program hopes to nurture the environmental leaders of tomorrow by offering them experiences that strengthen their bond with the planet.

And so, we built the Wadi Escapade – an escape room interaction that appeals to the younger crowds via immersive, educational storytelling.

An Ode to the Wilde

The concept revolved around the theme of ‘survival in the wild’ and was designed with the raw natural resources that are abundant in the country’s habitat.

Strive to Survive

Visitors were introduced to the immersive setting in teams of 4-5 as a ‘Citizen Science Group’ tasked with environmental research at the Wadi.

When suddenly, a violent storm breaks out, pushing the group to fight for survival among the elements and escape before dusk.

A Wadi-in-a-Box

Sand, gravel, trees, dry branches, and water streams brought the environment to life, transforming the 5x5 room into a Wadi.

The quickly dimming ‘sun-light’, booming thunder sounds, and a ticking 10-minute timer added to the ambience, injecting urgency into the scene.

Mission Green

Participants honed their survival skills through a chain of events - from making safe drinking water to building fishing spears – and they did it all sustainably.

Toss the trash

The team unearths a key from a pile of trash.

Remember to hydrate

The key unlocks a guide that leads them to a makeshift water filter built using the materials from the surroundings by the previous ‘researchers’.

The weight of the water triggers the sensors that unlock a chest containing the next clue.

Go fishing

The chest holds a magnetised spearhead – one component of a two-part tool that lies at the core of the country’s heritage

The visitors locate the correct branch from the ground – the others are fitted with same-pole magnets that will repel the spearhead – to build their fishing spear.

The key message here is to encourage the visitors to ignore the smaller fishes and set their sights on the big ones. With this, they ensure that their food is sourced sustainably and in a way that doesn’t impact the environment’s natural cycle.

The magnetised spear only attracts the bigger fishes – the magnets on the smaller ones are too weak to connect.

Preserve the hunt

Freshly caught stock can spoil very quickly. By teaching the visitors to preserve their food we can reduce the load on fish reserves and play a part in saving a species from extinction

Salting-to-preserve is an age-old Emirati tradition that has been handed down through the years and still applies to this day.

Emptying the salt pot reveals the final clue – an SD card.

The final stretch

The card is slotted into a radio prop that broadcasts a pre-recorded route to escape.

Finally, the team bags up all the trash in the area and escapes the room.

The exhilarated crowds take a moment to reflect on the striking reality of our habitat, share their thoughts, and sign-up for the program.

Talking figures

The immersive story-based experience attracted over 1000 visitors at several high-profile locations across the emirates over the span of 5 days.

The 23m2 activation was dismantled, transported, and rebuilt within the span of 14 hrs.