Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 October 2019

Road rage: break a few plates during the Dubai and Abu Dhabi commute at Smash Room Last Exit

Smash Room will open its second location at Last Exit on October 31

The drive from Dubai and the Northern Emirates to Abu Dhabi is replete with long, straight stretches, interspersed with tailgating, light-flashing bullies. Whether it’s boredom that dominates your commute or frustration, you can let it all out by making a stop at Last Exit by Meraas on your way to the capital. The food-truck park, you see, will be home to The Smash Room from October 31.

Originally set up at Al Quoz in Dubai in March 2018, Smash Room hopes to help people in the UAE de-stress by literally smashing and shattering everyday objects – from television screens and DVD players, to glasses, plates and furniture.

Visitors are given their pick of weapons, and can choose from a crowbar, sledgehammer, or cricket and baseball bat. You can even hurl things at the concrete walls should that be your preferred outlet for releasing pent-up energy.

If you have a bone to pick with the office printer, visit Smash Room 
If you have a bone to pick with the office printer, visit The Smash Room

As with the Al Quoz branch, Last Exit will have themed rooms – three in this case – filled with objects brought over from the junk yard or through donations. Participants are also offered a chance to bring their own items to break (cue the remnants of a doomed relationship).

The hands-on staff are sticklers for precaution, and each session is preceded by a list of safety rules, and you have to put on full-body padding, a helmet and gloves.

The idea behind Smash Room

Smash Room was founded by Hiba Balfaqih and Ibrahim Abudyak. Balfaqih, who grew up in Montreal, says when her grandmother died in 2017, it left her with some unresolved feelings.

“I had a lot of anger and resentment,” she says. “I went and did the traditional methods of therapy and it just didn’t help. I came up with the idea to go into my backyard and smash something, and I felt relief. So I thought: ‘All right, let’s start a business.’”

Balfaqih hopes the concept will help others find an alternative way to deal with stress. “The Smash Room is a form of stress release. It’s kind of like exercise,” she says. “When you start smashing, you’re releasing your endorphins, so that’s the area that’s the ‘therapy’ part – the release of negative energy.”

The Al Quoz branch also puts out a number of themed smashes, around Valentine's Day, for example, and recently hosted a screaming meditation session – and we're assuming the Last Exit will follow suit.

Updated: October 1, 2019 01:33 PM

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