Lights, camera, wow: unusual cinema experiences in Dubai

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From outdoor cinemas to immersive futuristic 4D screenings and indulgent fine dining, there’s more than one way to catch the Oscar tips and those shimmying Bollywood hips in Dubai.

Here’s some of the emirates’s off-beat cinema experiences to enhance and compliment your viewing pleasure.

Outdoor cinemas 

Some of the best al fresco screens are here in Dubai and when the weather is right, there’s nothing better than cinema by starlight.

Catch Bollywood’s biggest blockbusters at Wafi


From April until the beginning of May, the outdoor cinema on Wafi Mall’s Pyramids Rooftop Garden will show Bollywood classics including Lagaan and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara. Nostalgic tastes of Indian street food come courtesy of organisers Asha’s restaurant and there’s even a special VIP three-course meal package with luxury seating for hungrier cine-fans.

Wafi. AED 70 (includes popcorn and one beverage), VIP package AED 399. Sundays at 7.30pm. For more information call 04 324 4100. 


Vox Outdoor at Galleria Mall

monkey cookies

Situated on top of the Galleria Mall, the Vox Outdoor Cinema provides a luxury movie-watching experience with a spectacular view of the city. Tickets include a picnic pack (which contains a box of mouthwatering Monkey Cookies).

Galleria Mall. From AED 130. Check scheduling and book on . Open until 18th April. Now showing: A Quiet Place, Rampage is showing between 12th-18th April.

Outdoor cinema options reopening later in 2018 are the Urban Outdoor Cinema at The Habtoor Grand Resort and The Backyard in the Steigenberger Hotel Business Bay. We’ll keep you posted once they’re back in action!


In-screen gourmet dining: 


Dubai’s first year-round licensed cinema 

Eating in cinemas is not, in itself, a revolutionary concept. We’ve all gasped at the enormity of the extra large popcorn box and then eaten the entire thing before the movie starts. Hot dogs, nachos, ice cream. Seen it, ate it, watched the picture. The new Reel cinema outlet in Jebel Ali Recreation Club has taken that concept of chewing whilst viewing and raised it several levels. Enter new licensed, Guy-Fieri-menu-boasting dine-in cinema where moviegoers can feast on such delights as the Mac & Cheeseburger, the South West Lobster Roll and the Fully-Loaded Chicken Pot Pie, all mid-blockbusting action.

Jebel Ali Recreation Club. AED 160 for a starter, main and the screening.  Now showing all the latest movies, including: Ready Player One. 04 4 49 1903.


The next dimension

We’re still wrapping our heads around 3D – still ducking each time a virtual fragment of glass is launched off the screen and towards the audience. But some cinemas now offer 4D screenings – which claim to upgrade the overall sensory journey – creating the ultimate integrated experience.


Vox cinemas, Dubai – the 4DX revolution 

4DX is pretty cool. Not only does your seat mounting move with on screen cues, a la virtual reality simulators, but you can experience scents and elements, which could add a new sense of terror to horror flicks. In Dubai, there are 4DX screens at Vox cinemas in Mall of the Emirates, Cineplex at the Grand Hyatt, City Centre Mirdif, City Centre Deira.

From AED 136. Now showing: A Quiet Place and Ready Player One.


The big, big Screen



Over the border in Sharjah, doors have finally opened on the UAE’s largest IMAX screen. It’s found in Cinemacity, a spankingly new multiplex within Sharjah’s also new Zero6 mall in Al Jurainah. IMAX ticket holders get their own lounge and three different class of seating: Deluxe Class, Club Class and VIP Star Class. But in truth, all levels look luxurious enough to make even the longest of cinematic epics, a comfortable watch.

Tickets from AED 50. Now showing on IMAX: Ready Player One (in 3D).



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