Unwind under the stars at these open-air cinemas
By the beach or up on a rooftop – when the temperature dips, Dubai offers the perfect place to catch a screening of your favourite films outdoors. So grab some popcorn, curl under a blanket and unwind under the stars at these open-air cinema experiences.
Outdoor at Galleria Mall
This al fresco venue may screen the latest blockbusters but the real star of the show here is the view. Dubai’s most iconic landmarks, the Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa, shimmy on the horizon at this rooftop Vox Cinemas venue on Al Wasl Road. It’s a polished affair; a complimentary hamper of soft drinks and snacks is included in the entry price, but there’s the option to have a restaurant meal delivered directly to your table for a further cost.
Pyramids at Wafi
A rooftop location, relaxed vibe and free entry make this outdoor cinema in Old Dubai’s pyramid-like Wafi Mall a popular choice. Every Sunday, giant bean bags fill up with faces scoffing popcorn and hotdogs for the venue’s weekly Movies Under The Stars screening. Kick back, feel the breeze and get lost in contemporary Hollywood classics, such as How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and I Am Legend.
Reform Social & Grill
Rewind back in time with cult classics and themed-screenings every Tuesday night at this leafy British bistro in one of Dubai’s greenest areas, The Lakes. Every week, the restaurant’s outdoor courtyard transforms into an al fresco cinema, complete with soft fairy lights, bean bags, lounges, picnic blankets and “bottomless” buckets of popcorn. There’s a cinema menu with the usual fast food-style satisfiers as well as feasting boards.
To see regional arthouse flicks in an edgy outdoor environment, head straight for Cinema Akil at The Yard in Dubai’s main art hub, Alserkal District. The two collaborate during the winter months to provide a programme of progressive local and international films, which seem even more relevant within the context of the dusky, aluminium facades and urban warehouses that are signature of Al Quoz.
Dubai film fest screenings
During the annual international film festival held in December, Dubai transforms into a celebration of cinema – from blockbusters to smaller indie films. For one week every year, the popular JBR beach transforms into an open-air cinema showcasing the best of the silver screen right on the sand. The best bit? The screenings are free to attend.
Cine Splash at Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club
Ideal for keeping cool in the hotter months, Dubai Polo & Equestrian Club welcomes both children and adults to take a dip in the pool while watching a film every Thursday and Friday evening. Plus there’s complimentary popcorn.