Directed by famed filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk, Netflix's hit survival drama Squid Game saw fans recoiling over the bloodshed and lamenting the death of their favorite contestants.

The simplicity of the game — coupled with the relatable characters played by Korean actors such as Park Hae Soo, Lee Jung‑Jae, Wi Ha-Joon, HoYeon Jung, and Gong Yoo — fully captured the viewer's attention.

While the characters voluntarily entered a meat grinder, the audience was also in for an adventure, playing the games in their mind, figuring out tactics to win challenges, and wondering if they could pocket the winner tag.

Though the game competition with the same intensity and pressure might never really exist in the human world, fans can now try their hand at the real-life Squid Game match in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Real Life Squid Game

On September 30, 2021, the Korean Cultural Center in Abu Dhabi, UAE, announced that they were hosting the KCC Squid Game Event, a real-life version of Squid Game, on October 12, 2021. 

According to the announcement, the competition will be conducted on the 1st floor of the Cultural Center and feature four out of the six original games —  red light green light, dalgona candy challenge, glass stepping stones, and marbles game.

The eponymous squid game and tug-of-war round will be omitted, while the gdakji game will be added on the roster. 

As for the contestants, only two groups of 15 UAE residents were selected among 300 applicants. The prior notice stated that Korean nationals living in the UAE weren't eligible to partake in the event. 

Differences between Real Life UAE Event and Series

Closely based on the fictional series, the selected participants of the Squid Game event will be given the same green costumes with assigned numbers as the show's actors.

Likewise, the game facilitators will dress up in the iconic red ensemble with the circle, triangle, and square printed masks. 

However, the event will differ from the show in two apparent factors. First, there will be no deaths or violent altercations. The contestants won't have to deal with death sentences if they lose the game. 

Also, there will be no life-threatening challenges and real guns involved. Instead, the game facilitators will use sponge guns. In addition, the glass stepping stones will be held on flat ground instead of in mid-air.

The prize money is the second significant difference between the Abu Dhabi event and the Squid Game series. Contrary to the show, the winner will get no prize or money even if they win all the challenges. 

The organizing party, the Korean Cultural Center, hopes that the program will inspire people in the UAE to learn more about Korean culture, as the games involved are children's games played in the country. 

If the event becomes successful, more such events in other parts of the world can be expected in the foreseeable future.