Before you dive into the popcorn, before you sit back for the previews, and even before the hush of the opening credits, there’s a decision to be made. Where in the dazzling cityscape of Dubai will you be catching your next flick? The beauty of cinemas in Dubai is that they’re not just about gigantic screens and booming sound. They’re unique, immersive worlds offering a distinct cinematic experience that every movie buff dreams of. 

Welcome to our comprehensive tour of Dubai’s vibrant cinema culture, an insider’s guide to helping you find the perfect match for your cinematic journey:

Your Snapshot Guide to Cinemas in Dubai:


1. Multiplex Maestros: VOX, Novo, Reel – Take in the latest box office hits while indulging in a bucket of gourmet popcorn.

2. Art-House Haven: The Edit by Roxy, Cinema Akil – Enjoy an array of indie films complemented by their signature Karak Chai

3. Under the Stars: Dubai Marina – Relish your favorite films under the open sky with a variety of mouth-watering treats from nearby food trucks.

4. Lap of Luxury: VOX Gold, Roxy Plus, and Reel Platinum Suites – Experience cinematic opulence accompanied by a side of truffle fries.

5. Special Mention: Star Cinema by Al Ghurair – Experience the magic of IMAX, Gold Plus, Superscreen and ScreenX in this exclusively luxury cinema. 

Let’s explore the types of screens available in Cinemas across Dubai and what they’re significance is:

1. 2D (Available at VOX, Novo, Reel, and Roxy Cinemas): 2D screens offer a traditional viewing experience where the film is projected flat on the screen. The charm of 2D lies in its simplicity, providing clear, high-definition visuals without any added effects. Sample their fresh popcorn, a perfect accompaniment to the classic cinema experience.

Prices start from AED 35 onwards.

2. Standard (Available at VOX, Novo, Reel, Roxy Cinemas, and Star Cinemas by Al Ghurair): Standard screens offer a comfortable and straightforward movie viewing experience. With high-quality digital projection and sound, these screens are perfect for casual cinema-goers. Treat yourself to the cinema’s special nachos, guaranteed to add a crunch to your experience. Prices start from AED 35 onwards.

3. Novo Cool (Available at Novo Cinemas): Designed with children and families in mind, Novo Cool offers a fun and relaxed movie-watching experience with a colorful ambiance and kids-friendly films. Kids can enjoy their fun-themed food box filled with child-friendly snacks. Prices start from AED 35 onwards.

4. 3D (Available at VOX, Novo, Reel, Roxy Cinemas) : With specialized glasses, 3D screens bring films to life, offering depth to the picture. The cinema’s signature hotdogs make a great pairing with the thrilling 3D effects.
Prices start from AED 45 onwards.

5. MAX (Available at VOX Cinemas):

Exclusive to VOX Cinemas, the MAX experience is designed for a more immersive viewing. The MAX screen is larger than average, perfect for taking in all the grandeur of epic movies.

Paired with a Dolby Atmos surround sound system for crystal-clear audio, try the MAX special pizza to enhance your viewing pleasure.
Prices start from AED 50 onwards.

6. Kids Theatre (Available at VOX Cinemas): The Kids screens are an exclusive feature of VOX Cinemas and are custom designed for younger audiences. Pair this experience with their Candy Floss, a favorite among the young audience.

Prices start from AED 50 onwards.

7. IMAX (Available at VOX, Novo Cinemas and Star Cinemas by Al Ghurair):

IMAX screens provide a uniquely immersive cinematic experience. Enhance the experience with the theater’s specialty gourmet popcorn, an ideal snack for this impressive cinematic journey. IMAX at VOX and Novo cinemas offer unmatched cinematic immersion, but there are slight differences.

VOX IMAX offers Laser 2D/3D technology with a screen size of 24.5m x 13.8m, while Novo uses IMAX with Laser 3D/2D projection on a slightly larger screen of 26.5 x 14.5m, providing broader visual coverage.

Prices start from AED 70 onwards.

8. 4DX (Available at VOX Cinemas, and Star Cinema by Al Ghurair ): For a truly immersive experience, 4DX screens employ environmental effects. Accompany the 4DX experience with a unique ice cream sundae from the menu.

Prices start from AED 100 onwards.

9. Gold (Available at VOX Cinemas): VOX Gold screens offer a luxury cinema experience. Enhance the luxury experience with their gourmet cheese platter, a food option that matches the elegance of Gold.

Prices start from AED 100 onwards.

10. Platinum Suites (Available at Reel Cinemas): Offering the utmost in luxury, Platinum Suites feature private viewing areas. Enjoy the theater’s exclusive caviar service, the epitome of luxury, while you relax in the suite.

Prices start from AED 130 onwards,

11. Novo 7-Star (Available at Novo Cinemas): The Novo 7-Star screens take luxury viewing to another level. Complete the VIP experience with their signature truffle fries, a luxury delicacy for the discerning viewer.

Prices start from AED 150 onwards.

(Note: Prices are subject to change and may vary based on the movie and showtime. It’s always a good idea to check the latest prices on the respective cinema’s website.)

The All-Rounder Affair: VOX Cinemas, Novo Cinemas, Reel Cinemas 

Just as Dubai itself is a melting pot of diverse cultures, these multiplex cinemas in Dubai serve up a cinematic medley of the finest from Hollywood, Bollywood, Regional and Arabic content. Nestled within the city’s retail behemoths, they stand as a testament to the quintessential movie experience. For instance, VOX Cinemas in the Mall of the Emirates perfectly pairs the buzz of the latest blockbuster with the crunch of their infamous gourmet popcorn. Here are all the various experiences offered by these giants of Cinema: 

1. VOX Cinemas: 

  • Vox Cinemas was awarded the ‘Most Admired Retailer of the Year’ in Leisure & Entertainment by the RetailME Awards in 2015.
  • The original VOX cinema in Dubai’s Mall of the Emirates was the first cinema in the Middle East to be THX (Tomlinson Holman’s eXperiment) certified, a high-quality audio-visual reproduction standard.
  • Besides their traditional popcorn and soda offerings, VOX Cinemas also has a gourmet menu developed in collaboration with celebrity chef Gary Rhodes.

They’re available in these locations: Mall of the Emirates, City Centre Deira, City Centre Mirdif, Mercato Mall, BurJuman, Cineplex Grand Hyatt, Nakheel Mall. And they offer 4Dx, Multiplex (Standard), IMAX, MAX, Kids, Gold and 2D theaters. 

2. Novo Cinemas:

  • Novo Cinemas introduced the first MX4D Motion EFX Theatre in the MENA region, featuring innovative patented seat and theater technology.
  • Novo Cinemas isn’t just limited to the UAE; they have spread their presence to Qatar and Bahrain as well.
  • To provide a distinctive cinematic experience, Novo Cinemas often hosts themed nights and events around specific film releases.

They’re open in these locations: Dubai Festival City Mall, Ibn Battuta Mall, IMG Worlds of Adventure, Dragon Mart. And they offer Novo Cool, 7 Star, IMAX and Standard theaters.

3. Reel Cinemas:

  • Reel Cinemas is one of the largest cineplexes in the world with a whopping 26 screens in The Dubai Mall.
  • Their cinema at Jebel Ali Recreation Club is the first-ever licensed cinema in the region, meaning you can enjoy an alcoholic beverage with your movie.
  • Reel Cinemas has partnered with international chefs like Guy Fieri to create a unique dine-in cinema experience at select locations. 

They’re available in these locations:  The Dubai Mall, Dubai Marina Mall, Jebel Ali Recreation Club, Rove Downtown, The Springs Souk, Al Ghurair Centre, The Pointe (Palm Jumeirah), Nakheel Mall (Palm Jumeirah). And they offer Multiplex (Standard), Platinum Suite and Dine In Cinemas. 

The Indie Alcove: Cinema Akil & The Edit by Roxy

Hidden within Dubai’s artsy Alserkal Avenue is a treasure – Cinema Akil. This venue is a magnet for lovers of indie and foreign flicks. The charm of Cinema Akil lies not only in its eclectic mix of films but also in the sense of community it nurtures. Their film club nights and a steaming cup of their renowned Karak Chai make for a truly soul-stirring experience. It doesn’t boast the various screen types that mainstream cinema chains like VOX or Novo have, such as IMAX, 4DX, etc. Cinema Akil instead provides a traditional flat screen experience, focusing on the quality and diversity of content over technical specifications. The theater champions films that foster a deeper appreciation of cinema culture. For up-to-date information about Cinema Akil, please check their official website or contact them directly.

  • Before establishing its permanent base in Alserkal Avenue, Cinema Akil held more than 60 pop-up nomadic cinemas across Dubai.
  • Cinema Akil also serves as a dynamic space for discussions, artists, and collaborative projects, making it more than just a traditional cinema.
  • The Edit is the first Roxy Cinemas venue to be situated outside a shopping center, marking a strategic shift in location.
  • The interior design of The Edit takes its inspiration from the cinematic golden age and contemporary design influences.
  • Alongside film screenings, The Edit often hosts panel discussions and Q&A sessions with filmmakers and industry professionals.

Starlit Screens: Dubai’s Outdoor Cinemas

Immerse yourself in Dubai’s balmy evenings in the most enchanting way possible – under the stars at one of Dubai’s outdoor cinemas. The outdoor venue at Dubai Marina is a city favorite, cherished for its intimate ambience. Sit back and enjoy a cult classic under the starry night sky while savoring delectable treats from local food trucks. Located atop the Dubai Marina Mall, this outdoor cinema offers a stunning view of the Dubai skyline. Providing an individualistic approach to the movie experience. Their screen is a large LED setup that provides excellent visual quality. As for food, you can sit back and enjoy a cult classic under the starry night sky while savoring delectable treats from local food trucks. 

The Pinnacle of Pleasure: VOX Gold, Reel Cinemas’ Platinum Suites & Roxy Cinemas

Reflecting Dubai’s love for grandeur, the city’s cinemas in Dubai rise to the occasion. VOX Gold and Reel Cinemas’ Platinum Suites take the term ‘movie experience’ to an entirely new level. Every detail exudes luxury here, from the comforting reclining seats to personal butler services and even the gourmet delights on the exclusive menu – think truffle fries! 

Roxy cinemas are available in these locations: Galleria Mall, Al Khawaneej Walk, The Beach JBR, City Walk, and Boxpark. And They offer Roxy Plus and Boutique Cinema: 

– Boutique Cinema: Renowned for stylish decor, personalized customer service, and exclusive dining options. Screenings encompass Hollywood blockbusters to independent films.

– Roxy Plus: Offers a luxury cinema experience with plush recliner seating and a gourmet menu.

Special Mentions:

Star Cinemas by Al Ghurair:

The multiplex showcases a blend of Hollywood, Bollywood, and regional films. An interesting fact: Star Cinemas was the first in the region to introduce ScreenX, a revolutionary 270° panoramic movie experience. It’s not just about watching a film; it’s about living it. Star Cinemas takes you closer to the story with its incredible immersive experience. It’s more than a cinema; it’s a sensation.

It also offers these types of screens: Superscreen with prices starting from AED 70, Gold Class with prices starting from AED 150, 4DX with prices starting from AED 110, ScreenX with prices starting from AED 85, and the Standard experience starting from AED 55. 

In conclusion, the varied portfolio of cinemas in Dubai caters to every type of film enthusiast. From bustling multiplexes, cozy art-house venues, and starlit outdoor cinemas to ultra-luxurious suites, the city’s lively cinema culture has something for everyone. Be it the latest Hollywood sensation, a thought-provoking indie film, or a classic under the stars, this guide is your ticket to the perfect movie experience in the show-stopping city of Dubai. Your cinematic adventure awaits!

About Author

Chaahat Mulani

About Author

Chaahat Mulani, a Dubai-based high school senior, has a keen eye for capturing the essence of everyday life through her engaging articles. Born and raised in Dubai, she blends her artistic sensibilities with her business acumen to write lifestyle pieces and aspires to have a career in Screenwriting. Beyond her academic achievements and writing prowess, Chaahat finds joy in music, dance, fitness, and exploring art, embodying a balanced blend of creativity and discipline.