On top of the obvious heat the UAE experiences every summer, the pandemic has driven many industries to think outside of the box with regards to indoor entertainment. However, this is not necessarily a bad thing, with many popular cinema groups offering outdoor or drive-in cinemas to make you feel like you’ve gone back to the old-school way of watching a movie beneath the stars!
Here we take a look at the best of Dubai’s outdoor cinemas as well as what their costs are, where they are, how to get there, and any special features they have.
Urban Outdoor Cinema
Located against the stunning Dubai Marina backdrop, Urban Entertainment’s outdoor cinema is one you do not want to miss!
If you were worried about seating, fear not because Urban Outdoor Cinema has padded chairs and beanbags for cinema guests. Urban Outdoor Cinema also cites itself as being the only outdoor cinema in Dubai with a fully licensed bar, where you can find tasty snacks including nachos, calamari, and even freshly made pizza from their onsite Italian restaurant. What better to pair some delicious treats with than a cold beer, wine, soft drink, or even a cocktail!
Film screenings run every Saturday, Sunday, and Monday on the Habtoor Grand’s Beach Lawn from 7.30pm. The venue also offers free parking for cinema guests.
Urban Outdoor Cinema is just a 8 minute drive from JBR or approximately 20 minutes by public transport, a 25 minute drive from Jumeirah Beach or around 45 minutes by public transport, and a 10/15 minute drive from the Palm Jumeirah.
In terms of public transport, you could opt for the 8, 84, or N55 buses which drop you off approximately a 10 minutes walk away from the cinema at the Royal Meridian stops. The buses arrive frequently too, on average every 20 minutes.
Ticket cost: 75 AED per person
Vox Cinemas Outdoor Galleria Mall
Vox Cinemas offers its own fair share of outdoor cinemas across Dubai. This on is located at Galleria Mall, Jumeirah.
The cinema has comfy spaced seating and soft ambient lighting for a cosy evening watching the movies! You can also get food and drinks ordered directly to your seat.
The Outdoor Cinema at Galleria Mall has its own share of ticket packages. The Kids ticket package costs 90 AED, the Standard Couch Package for one guest costs 137 AED from Sunday to Wednesday or 158 AED from Thursday to Saturday. The Standard Couch Package entitles you to a food and beverage pack with a choice of nachos, a hot dog, salt or caramel popcorn, cookies, a soft drink, and water. The VIP Couch Package for two guests costs 316 AED from Sunday to Wednesday or 368 AED from Thursday to Saturday, and entitles you to two food and beverage packs.
The Galleria Mall Outdoor Cinema is located a 25 minute drive from JBR or around 1 hour by public transport, a 15 minute drive from Jumeirah Beach or around 25 minutes by public transport, and a 20/25 minute drive from the Palm Jumeirah.
As for public transport, you can conveniently catch the 12, 15, 81, 93, C14, or N55 buses which all drop you at the Jumeirah Post Office, which is only a few minutes’ walking distance away. On average, buses arrive every 15 to 20 minutes.
Vox Cinemas Outdoor Aloft Dubai Creek
Next from Vox Cinemas is the outdoor cinema at Aloft Dubai Creek!
The cinema has cosy seating with cushions and tables dotted around a large screen, so you can know you’ve got a great view! What is especially great is that there is a roof that can come over in the scorching summer months so you can enjoy this cinema all year round.
The Outdoor Cinema, Aloft Dubai Creek is located opposite the banks of the creek, so you can have stunning views out across the water as you unwind. Much like Galleria Mall, you can have make the most of the wide selection with the food and drink service.
Tickets here are a lot simpler than at Galleria Mall, you have either the Single Seater ticket for 65 AED or the Double Seater ticket for 130 AED. However, you should note that Outdoor Aloft Dubai Creek is only open to those aged 21 and older unless you have a private booking.
Outdoor Aloft Dubai is located a 30 minute drive from JBR or approximately 1 hour by public transport, a 20 minute drive from Jumeirah Beach or approximately 1 hour by public transport, and a 20 minute drive from Palm Jumeirah. For public transport, Outdoor Aloft Dubai Creek is located a 5 minute walk from the City Centre MS A 3 bus stop which operates the 53 service arriving on average every 15 to 20 minutes.
Ticket Cost: 65 AED +
Vox Cinemas Drive-In at Mall Of The Emirates
Finally from Vox Cinemas, is the Drive-In Cinema at Mall Of The Emirates if you’re fancying an old-school style viewing! These have become especially popular in Dubai especially when the pandemic limited the use of facilities.
This drive-in cinema is located on Level 3 of Mall Of The Emirates near Ski Dubai. The area is spacious with the screen being able to be viewed from all angles. You can also get snacks delivered straight to your car! There will be multiple movie screenings from 6.30pm to 2am.
Currently, the drive-in costs 180 AED +VAT which includes tickets for two people priced at 45 AED each, with a food and drinks package for two people including nachos, caramel popcorn, salted popcorn, cheese popcorn, M&M’s, plus two soft drinks and two waters, priced at 45 AED each.
The Vox Drive-In cinema is located approximately a 15 minute drive from JBR, a 15 to 20 minute drive from Jumeirah Beach, and a 10-15 minute drive from Palm Jumeirah. It has a central and easy to access location for your classic cinema trip, with extra facilities and shops to enjoy within the mall.
Ticket Cost: 180 AED per car
Reel Drive-In Cinema – The Dubai Mall Zabeel
Sticking with the drive-in experience, where better to relax with a movie than with the Burj Khalifa in the background?
The cinema has a wide screen with the convenience of being located at one of the hotspot malls in the city. The stunning skyline views are sure to take your breath away, and all from the comfort of your own car!
Tickets cost 170 AED per car with a maximum of 4 people per car. The ticket also includes a food and beverage package as outside food is not allowed. The food and drink package includes cheese popcorn, salted popcorn, nachos, 2 chocolate bars, 2 soft drinks, and 2 water bottles. However, there are other food and drink facilities at the mall should you still be peckish.
The Dubai Mall Zabeel Drive-In Cinema is located approximately a 25 minute drive from JBR, a 15 minute drive from Jumeirah Beach, and a 20 minute drive from Palm Jumeirah. Due to the location, you can definitely do a spot of sightseeing!
Ticket Cost: 170 AED per car
Reel Drive-In Cinema – Dubai Hills Estate
Finally from Reel’s drive-in cinemas, is the outside cinema at Dubai Hills Estate where you can catch a movie under the stars!
The screen is wide and cars are spaced well apart so you can have a relaxing movie night! The cinema is located a 5 minute walk from Dubai Hills Park so you are backed by the peaceful and luxurious backdrop of the Dubai Hills Estate. This is a great spot if you are also looking for a slight change of scenery!
Much like at the Dubai Mall Zabeel, the tickets cost 170 AED per car with the 4 people maximum limit. Plus you get the same Reel food and beverage package of salted and cheese popcorn bags, nachos, chocolate bars, soft drinks, and water bottles.
The Dubai Hills Estate Drive-In Cinema is located around a 20 minute drive from JBR, a 20 minute drive from Jumeirah Beach, and a 15 to 20 minute drive from Palm Jumeirah.
Ticket Cost: 170 AED per car
Dubai offers various outdoor cinemas across the city, set against the water’s edge, the dazzling skyline, or out of the way for some peace and quiet! The various locations and styles are sure to appeal to many eager visitors to the luxurious city.