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Movie buffs in Dubai are in for a treat as the newly-proposed plan of drive-in cinemas is set to become a reality. In the post-pandemic world, you won’t have to wait any longer to catch your favourite romcoms. By Upasana Singh
In the age of lockdown, drive-in cinemas are the perfect solution to maintain social distancing and prevent the spread of COVID-19. While the US, Germany, South Korea, and other countries have had drive-in cinemas for a long time, amid the worldwide pandemic, UAE has created a plan to launch the same. The resurgence of drive-in cinemas will be seen in Dubai, Sharjah, and RAK.
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Michael Hayes, Chief Executive of Urban Entertainment Dubai, said that the company had been considering the plan for drive-in cinemas in the UAE for years, even before the pandemic. However, the virus has now made it a necessity, as movie lovers do not want to risk going to traditional theatres set in enclosed spaces. Keeping that in mind, UAE residents can enjoy watching their favourite films in the comfort of their own space, without any fear of the infection.
Drive-in cinemas are not a new concept in the UAE. The popular sight of open-air cinemas was seen in the 80s and 90s. In Dubai, a drive-in movie theatre called, Rex Cinema was a favourite among the locals. People would bring their snacks or buy refreshments from ushers to get the full outdoor experience. Indian movies were immensely popular at Rex. Although this theatre was demolished; its concept has reappeared in the country sporadically.
Before the pandemic, Urban Outdoor Cinema hosted two film screenings a week at the Habtoor Grand Resort in Dubai Marina. With A Star Is Born or The Shining playing in the background, people gathered around and sat on couches under the magnificent skyline of Dubai Marina.
In the present times, the temporary closure of cinema halls has led people resorting to online streaming platforms. The novelty experience of buying movie tickets, going to a theatre, and getting popcorn has been lost. The launch of drive-in cinemas in the cities of UAE could become the new normal with an assurance of personalised spaces and hygiene.