For many film lovers where you’re watching the movie, and who with, is just as important as the plot itself. Dubai’s lucky to host a vibrant selection of outdoor screenings, allowing everyone from romantic couples to families to soak up the movies in more intimate, relaxed surroundings. Now we ask – who would want to watch a movie in a stuffy cinema, or worse still, on your couch, when you could be enjoying it from the side of a pool? Or from the starlit terrace of a restaurant? Read our guide and get out and about.
Cabana Movie Nights
What it offers: Cabana is a thrilling location – floating in the midst of the downtown cityscape, its gripping poolside vista has inspired more than the odd sharp intake of breath. Add its weekly poolside screenings and you have the ultimate chilled out Sunday evening in the company of some smash blockbusters.
What you get:
For Dhs99, you get entry and a bucket containing a drink and cinema snacks.
Movie selection: The films on offer verge between brash action thrillers (recent screenings include Tron: Legacy and Transformers: Dark Side of the Moon) and mushy rom-com fair (Love Actually and Wedding Crashers).
Best for: This is a pretty good bet for a quirky take on the classic date.
Upcoming movies: March 4: The Bucket List March 11: The Last Samurai March 18: Pretty Woman March 25: Slumdog Millionaire Dhs99. 8.30pm, Sundays. Cabana, The Address Dubai Mall, Downtown Dubai (04 438 8999).
Monday Movies Nights at Lakeview
What it offers: Every week the Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club screens a double header of movies on its terrace restaurant, Lakeview. The relaxed spot already offers rolling views of the green golf course, and at night the twinkling cityscape of downtown glistens from the other side of the creek.
What you get:
There’s no entry fee, but guests are offered a special ‘all you can eat’ sushi and tempura buffet at Dhs75, and there’s the usual à la carte menu of food, drinks and shisha – and complimentary popcorn for all.
Lakeview are not afraid to dart back to the mid-’90s to complete its billings of light cheesy comedies, with recent screenings including favourites Notting Hill, Johnny English and Legally Blond.
Best for: Diners who are as interested in eating as they are watching the movie.
Upcoming movies: March 12: The Addams Family (7pm), Little Nicky (9pm) March 19: Spy Next Door (7pm), When In Rome (9pm) March 26: Night at the Museum (7pm), Wild Target (9pm) Free. 7pm, Mondays. Lakeview, Dubai Creek Golf & Yacht Club, Deira (04 295 6000).
Movies Under the Stars at Wafi
What it offers: Wafi’s Rooftop Pyramid Gardens hosts weekly screenings of recent hit movies from a screen suspended above the stage at the heart of the roof. Despite the delightfully tacky, fake rock furnishings, we’re a fan of this relaxed, intimate space.
What you get:
It’s free entry so just rock up, grab a bean bag and relax. The special Pyramid bar serves up food, drinks and popcorn, while more discerning folk can dine at neighbouring Spanish restaurant Seville’s.
It’s an eclectic mix of cinema here with no domineering theme, recent screenings dart from Michael Jackson’s This Is It, to lowbrow comedy The Hangover and action blowout 2012.
A group of mates who want to slouch on the roof for a chilled, cheap night out.
March 11: Due Date March 18: Hall Pass March 25: The Proposal Free. 8.30pm, Sundays. Pyramid Rooftop Gardens, Wafi, Oud Metha (04 324 4100).
Poolside Movies Nights at Emirates Golf Club
What it offers: Dubai’s newest outdoor movie host was yet to get into full flow as we went to press. Despite launching in January, three consecutive weeks of screenings at Emirates Golf Club have had to be called off for reasons including a sandstorm, the Desert Classic golf tournament and a public holiday.
What you get: Emirates shows two movies every Friday night from a large screen set up in the pool area. Visitors can take a lounger, or braver souls can bring their own floats along to watch from the water, which we’re promised is temperature controlled. Popcorn is complimentary, and the à la carte menu offers a selection of drinks, snacks and main meals.
Movie selection: A good balance of a lighter flick with a meatier main event. One evening paired the 1961 classic Breakfast at Tiffany’s with Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. Nice.
Best for: Movie buffs to indulge in a double dose of celluloid.
Upcoming movies: March 9: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (7pm), The Greatest Game Every Played (9pm) March 16: Seven Pounds (7pm), Kill Bill: Volume 1 (9pm) March 23: Alvin and the Chipmunks (7pm), Hancock (9pm) March 30: Walk the Line (7pm), Spy Game (9pm) Free. 7pm, Fridays. Emirates Golf Club, Emirates Hills (04 417 9999).For reviews of all these movies, see Time Out Dubai’s film section every week.