Dubai is known for its luxury and entertainment offerings, and one of the most popular pastimes in this vibrant city is watching films in some of the best cinemas it offers. From state-of-the-art sound and visual technology to comfortable seating and gourmet treats, Dubai’s cinemas take the movie-going experience to a new level.
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Best Cinemas in Dubai: Spoil Yourself
VOX Cinemas is one of the largest cinema chains in Dubai, known for its extensive range of screens and viewing options. Known for its cutting-edge technology and high-quality experience, Vox Cinemas is a favourite among film enthusiasts in the city.
Vox offers the usual variety of screens such as 2D, 3D, 4DX and IMAX, but they also offer some rather unique and exclusive experiences such as Theatre, which combines fine dining with luxury cinema experience. There’s also Samsung Onyx, Dubai’s first and only cinema LED screen; Moonlight, which offers an outdoor cinema experience; and Distraction Free, which doesn’t let kids or latecomers into the cinema.
Vox Cinemas Locations and Experiences
|2D, 3D, Kids, Gold
|City Centre Deira
|2D, 3D, Kids, Gold
|City Centre Mirdif
|2D, 3D, Kids, Max, Theatre
|City Centre Shindagha
|Dubai Festival City Mall
|2D, 3D, Kids, Gold
|Kempinski Hotel at MOE
|Mall of the Emirates
|2D, 3D, 4DX, Kids, IMAX, Theatre, Distraction Free
|Grand Hyatt Cineplex
|2D, 3D, Kids, Theatre
|Wafi Mall at Wafi City
|2D, 3D, Kids, Max, Theatre, Onyx
Reel Cinemas stands out as another popular destination for movie lovers in Dubai. Operating across several of Dubai’s premium locations, Reel Cinemas incorporates state-of-the-art technology into its screens, ensuring a stunning visual and auditory experience.
Reel Cinemas offers quite a few different experiences, such as Platinum Movie Suites with premium seating and meals, as well as Dolby Cinemas, which is a certified Dolby experience. There’s also Dine-In, Private Cinema and ScreenX that extends the movie screen to the side walls of the cinema.
Reel Cinemas’ loyalty programme ‘Reel Rewards’ allows frequent visitors to earn points that can be redeemed for tickets and concessions.
Reel Cinemas Locations and Experiences
|The Dubai Maill
|2D, 3D, MX4D, ScreenX, Dine-In, Dolby, Platinum
|Dubai Marina Mall
|2D, 3D, Premiere, Dolby
|2D, 3D, Junior
Novo Cinemas, which used to be Grand Cinemas, has been around for a long time and is one of the original multi-screen cinemas in Dubai. It offers a good selection of screens and experiences.
In addition to standard cinema halls, Novo Cinemas offers 3D, IMAX, and 4D screenings, catering to different preferences. Comfort also plays an important role in the Novo Cinemas experience, as some locations provide a deluxe 7-star experience with reclining features and a VIP lounge.
Novo Cinemas Locations and Experiences
|Ibn Battuta Mall
|2D, 3D, IMAX, Kids
|2D, 3D, IMAX, Kids
|2D, 3D, IMAX, 7-Star
Roxy Cinemas is an up-and-coming player in the Dubai cinema scene. This boutique cinema offers a more intimate and personal experience, focusing on elegant design.
Roxy Cinemas has specially curated screens showcasing the latest blockbusters and independent films. Experiences include Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Extreme, which the company claims is the largest screen in Dubai.
Roxy also has a loyalty program called Roxy Plus that earns you a point for every Dirham you spend. Points can be used to purchase tickets as well as food and beverage.
Roxy Cinemas Locations and Experiences
|Dubai Hills Mall
|Silver, Extreme, Platinum
|Galleria Mall Barsha
New to Dubai is Cinepolis Cinemas, opening its first cinema inside Circle Mall in JVC. There is another branch for Cienpolis in Sharjah, but this is the first and only one in Dubai. The cinema plays the latest blockbusters and has standard and luxury auditoriums.
Cinema Akil is the best option for those who prefer a more independent and niche experience. It is an arthouse cinema aiming to bring quality films from all over the world to the Dubai audience. The cinema often hosts film festivals, talks, and workshops, making it a hub for cinephiles who appreciate a more culturally diverse selection.
Cinema Akil is located inside Al Sarkal Avenue in Al Qouz.
Cinema Experiences in Dubai
Dubai is known for its luxury and innovation, which also extends to its cinema offerings. In this section, we will explore some of the unique cinema experiences in Dubai, covering IMAX, 4DX, private cinemas, and outdoor cinemas.
IMAX screens are a popular choice for film enthusiasts in Dubai. These theatres boast massive screens that make for an immersive experience. Dubai is home to a few of IMAX cinemas, including VOX Cinemas at Mall of the Emirates and NOVO Cinemas at Ibn Battuta Mall, Dragon Mart and IMG World.
Not only do these cinemas offer top-of-the-line projection and sound systems, but they also have comfortable seating, enhancing the overall cinema experience.
For those looking to take their movie-watching experience to the next level, 4DX cinemas are available in Dubai. These theatres have motion-enabled chairs and special effects such as wind, rain, and scent to immerse the audience in the film.
Some of the 4DX cinemas in Dubai include VOX Cinemas at Mall of the Emirates as well as Reel Cinemas at Dubai Mall.
Dubai’s luxury extends to private cinemas, perfect for intimate gatherings and exclusive film screenings. Some high-end cinema providers offer the opportunity to rent fully equipped private screening rooms, complete with plush seating, personal assistance, and gourmet catering. Check out Platinum Suites at Reel Cinemas in The Dubai Mall and VOX Cinemas at Kempinski Hotel.
Finally, if outdoor cinema experiences are more your style, Dubai has some options for enjoying your favourite movies under the stars. These outdoor cinemas provide a unique and casual atmosphere, perfect for a relaxed evening with friends or family. Some popular outdoor cinema locations in Dubai are:
- Cinema Akil in Alserkal Avenue, which offers independent and foreign films
- Movie Nights at The Green Planet, a unique outdoor theatre surrounded by lush greenery
- Moonlight by VOX Cinemas at Galleria Mall.
Cinemas Located in Dubai’s Top Malls
Dubai, a city known for its luxurious shopping malls, offers a fantastic experience for cinema-goers with state-of-the-art movie theatres found in its top malls. This section delves into two popular malls that host amazing cinemas: Dubai Mall and the Mall of the Emirates.
Dubai Mall Cinemas
Dubai Mall, the largest mall in the world, is home to Reel Cinemas, a popular venue for movie enthusiasts. Reel Cinemas have 26 screens and provides an excellent movie-watching experience. Viewers can choose from a range of options, including:
- Standard screens
- Platinum Movie Suites featuring luxury recliner seating, personalised services, and a la carte dining options
- Dolby Cinema with cutting-edge technology and high-quality visuals and sound for an immersive experience
The cinema also offers a wide variety of snacks and refreshments to enhance the viewer’s overall experience.
Mall of the Emirates Cinemas
In Mall of the Emirates, another go-to destination for movie lovers is VOX Cinemas, offering an extensive variety of screens and experiences. Among the available options are:
- Standard screens: Great experience and comfort provided at an affordable price
- Theatre: This experience combines luxury cinema and fine dining.
- IMAX with Laser: For the ultimate cinematic experience, IMAX with Laser offers spectacular visuals and immersive sound
- 4DX: 4D presentation and special effects for a multi-sensory adventure
- Kids: Family-friendly, colourful halls with child-friendly content and adjustable seating for children’s comfort
- Gold: Spacious, reclining armchairs and a gourmet menu
With a plethora of choices, Mall of the Emirates provides a unique and outstanding cinema experience for every taste and preference.
Cinemas Offering Food and Beverage Services
Dubai boasts a superb selection of cinemas, several of which pride themselves on exceptional food and beverage services. One such cinema is Reel Cinemas. Operated by Emaar Retail, Reel has continuously enhanced its movie-going experience with convenient and satisfying F&B services, enabling customers to indulge in an array of savoury food options.
In particular, Reel Cinemas at The Dubai Mall and Jebel Ali Recreation Club offer a great dining experience known as the Dine-in Cinema. Patrons can enjoy gourmet appetisers, mains, and delectable desserts- all served directly to their cinema seats by discreetly attentive staff.
Another noteworthy cinema is VOX Cinemas, present in multiple locations across Dubai, including the prestigious Mall of the Emirates. Here, guests can experience the exclusive THEATRE, with a lavish menu featuring signature gourmet dishes, such as Wagyu beef sliders and truffled mac ‘n cheese.
Which one is your favourite cinema in Dubai? Let us know in the comments below.
Abbas has been covering tech for more than two decades- before phones became smart or clouds stored data. He brought publications like CNET, TechRadar and IGN to the Middle East.