Cinemas across the UAE are showing action from the Indian Premier League (IPL) Twenty20 cricket as the championship enters the final leg of the season.
Cricket enthusiasts in the UAE, which has a large Indian expat community, can now watch the matches live on the big-screen at theatres in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Sharjah, Ras Al Khaimah and Fujairah.
Entertainment & Sports Direct (ESD), which has acquired the IPL global theatrical rights to matches in the league to be played in Seasons 2010 through to 2019, has joined hands with Al Nisr Cinema and Gulf Films to bring the stadium-like experience for cricket fans.
The matches are being screened live in Dubai at Lamcy 2 (166 seats), Grand Cineplex 6 near Grand Hyatt (237), Grand Cinecity 5 at Al Ghurair City (138) and Grand Megaplex 15 in Ibn Battuta Mall (140).
The screenings are also being held in Sharjah at Star Cineplex 2 (231 seats); in Ras Al Khaimah at Gulf Cinema 2 (202 seats); in Fujairah at Grand Dana 3 (80 seats); in Abu Dhabi at National Cinema 4 (150 seats) and in Musaffah at Grand Safeer 3 (123 seats).
ESD has also tied up with select hotels and restaurants in the UAE for screening the matches in high-definition on large screens.
The company holds the exclusive exhibition rights for IPL in cinema halls, stadia and public venues. There are two matches daily, and the screenings are at 2.30pm and 6.30pm. The regular prices will apply for the tickets. The grand final is on April 25.
Khushi Khatwani, of Al Nisr Cinema Company, said: "The matches will be screened uninterrupted throughout the rest of the season, and movie enthusiasts can make advance bookings at the respective theatres not to miss out on the fun and action.
"The theatre screenings were originally planned in the UAE for the next year. However, we are launching it this year itself due to strong demand, especially from the corporates for bulk bookings."
In its third season now, IPL has eight teams battling it out: Mumbai Indians, Royal Challengers Bangalore, Deccan Chargers, Chennai Super Kings, Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab, Kolkata Knight Riders and Rajasthan Royals.