There’s something about watching your favourite stars on screen, under the glow of the sky’s own stellar cast, that connects you with the REEL magic of cinema.
Dubai’s autumn temperatures after-dark are beginning to create an almost perfect climate for outdoor cinemas. So it’s only natural that each year we see a fine crop of alfresco screens springing up over the emirate.
By Miles Buckeridge
Urban Outdoor Cinema
This outdoor cinema brings a cunningly curated season of movies to the alfresco screen scene! Urban Outdoor cinema is in Habtoor Grand Resort, near JBR, where films glow up every Saturday to Monday. Watch contemporary classics and long-time favourites paint out on a huge canvas, sitting in the comfort of big ol’ bean bags.
On Saturday 23rd November catch Richard Curtis’ unabashedly English rom-com, Four Weddings and a Funeral – and marvel at Hugh Grant’s hair in peek fop. A-well-a-well-a-well-a on Sunday the 24th it’s John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John in classic coming-of-age sing-a-long Grease. Then on Monday 25th, one of the most popular movies ever made – watch Andy Dufresne crawl through a river of eww and come out clean on the other side in Shawshank Redemption.
Saturdays, Sundays, Mondays. Habtoor Grand Resort, near JBR. Screenings at 7.30pm. AED 75. Tickets from platinumlist.net.
Azure beach, Seanema
Private JBR pool club, Azure Beach is now waist-deep in its Wednesday alfresco movie night this week. And the outdoor screen is accompanied by deluxe confectionery options like gourmet hotdogs, loaded fries, popcorn and a range of adult drinks to compliment the viewing experience.
The seaside cinematics for the end of November include ‘Suicide Squad’ on the 27th. In December, be shore to coast in and catch more superhero shenanigans with ‘Logan’ and ‘Avengers: Endgame.’ There’s also ‘A Star Is Born,’ and it’s cool because – it’s still dark enough outside that nobody can see you crying into your popcorn. And of course, ‘The Grinch,’ because Christmas.
Based on last season: Tickets AED 50 (free for the hotel’s guests). AED 95 basic food and drink package. AED 145 for adult beverage (two house drinks) and food package. Showings begin 9.30pm. VIP hamper for AED 1,000. Azure Beach, Rixos Premium, JBR. 052 777 9472.
Vox Outdoor at Galleria Mall
Situated on top of the Galleria Mall, the Vox Outdoor Cinema provides a luxury movie-watching experience with a spectacular view of the city. The vibe is dialled to fancy level chill with a floor full of comfy spectating perches. And, cha-ching, the ticket price includes a picnic pack with delicious sippables and munchables. Because it’s Vox, you’ll get to see all the bang-up-to-date movies in a suitably dramatic setting.
Now showing – ‘Frozen 2′ and ‘Last Christmas’
Galleria Mall. From AED 137 (AED 158 at weekends), children from AED 90, VIP Couch package AED 316 for two (AED 368 at weekends). Timings from 7.30pm, check scheduling and book on uae.voxcinemas.com.
Vox Outdoor at Aloft City Centre Deira
Brand new for this year, this screen is part of the gorgeous Aloft hotel development (which has its own pretty sweet movie-themed suites) at City Centre Deira. The cinema has a retractable roof and walls, is climate controlled and features extremely plush seating. Because of the September heat, they’ve not rolled the top down just yet – but we’re ecxpecting it to start from some time next month. Oh and it’s licensed, for those that like an adult beverage with their blockbuster movies.
Terminator: ’21 Bridges,’ ‘Pagalpanti‘ and ‘Last Christmas’
Aloft Hotel, City Centre Deira. From AED 75. Timings from 4pm, check scheduling and book on uae.voxcinemas.com.
Cinema on the Sand, Zero Gravity, Dubai Marina
The ultimate party destination becomes the ultimate outdoor movie destination. Zero Gravity is erecting a big screen, with Dubai Marina providing a suitably cinematic backdrop. Beanbags and blankets are available, and an awesome menu of cinema snack classics – popcorn, chilli fries, chicken wings, nachos, shawarma, burgers and more.
The latest movie on screen was The Bodyguard, on November 17th. Keep your eyes peeled for the next, as yet undisclosed showing.
Based on last season: AED 50 (which you get back as credit to spend on food). Zero Gravity, Dubai Marina, Skydive Dubai Drop Zone, Al Sufouh Road. 04 399 0009.