Open-air cinema is to debut in the UAE later this month, when some of the biggest films of the year will be projected onto a screen six storeys high. The showings in Dubai and Abu Dhabi will be the first time the Swiss OpenAir company has brought the world's largest mobile screen to the Middle East, showing new films from around the world, including Guy Ritchie's gangster caper RocknRolla, Daniel Craig as James Bond in Quantum of Solace and Keira Knightley playing the title role in The Duchess.
The showings will begin at 9pm and run nightly from Monday to Nov 21 in Dubai at Mina Salem Beach, and from Dec 1 to 12 in Abu Dhabi at the gardens of the Emirates Palace hotel. The programme has a festival feel, with films from around the world. There will be nights dedicated to British, Bollywood and Arabian films as well as family showings. Ticket sales for the Dubai event have been brisk: one James Bond fan tried to buy all 2,000 tickets for Quantum of Solace, only to find out the opening-night screening is by invitation only.
It takes 75 people five days to assemble the screen, which stands 25 metres high and measures 4,000 square feet. Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, will attend a charity screening of the animated children's film Open Season 2 on Nov 14. A portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Dubai Cares. Tickets to each screening are Dh50 (US$13.62) and are available, along with the full programme, through www.timeouttickets.com. More information is available at www.swissopenair.com.