x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Your guide to Dubai International Film Festival

How to buy your tickets, where to eat, where to go - our Dubai International Film Festival guide has all the information you need.

The Dubai International Film Festival starts on Sunday. Pawan Singh / The National
The Dubai International Film Festival starts on Sunday. Pawan Singh / The National

Dubai International Film Festival is upon us and here is all the information you'll need:

How to buy tickets

There are several ways to pick up tickets. Box offices are open now at Vox Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates, in the Madinat Theatre and in Dubai Internet City, Building 3, while an extra one in the Madinat Arena will be open from Sunday. Check online for opening hours (most open at 10am).

Alternatively, call 04 363 FILM (3456) or book online at www.dubaifilmfest.com. Regular screenings are Dh30 (Dh10 for students), gala screenings are Dh80 and the Cinema for Children gala is Dh50 per ticket (adult or child).

If you're planning to watch a number of films, then perhaps go for a package. For Dh250 you get 10 tickets and for Dh500 you get 25. For some red-carpet action, Dh500 will get you one ticket for each of the eight gala films (excluding opening and awards). And families can buy two adult and up to four children's tickets for the children's gala as well as a family film for Dh150. For those who miss out, there will be standby queues.


If it ain't broke… Once again, the main festival screenings will be in the Madinat Theatre and Vox Cinemas in Mall of the Emirates, with red-carpet galas at the Madinat Arena. The Madinat Arena is also where the various talks, masterclasses and workshops will be, and is where you're likely to catch a glimpse of film folk, if that's what you're after.

Where to eat

Thankfully, there are a wealth of pre- or post-film dining options available in Madinat Jumeirah. For an added twist, why not pair the film with the cuisine? For example, if you're watching the Japanese legend Takashi Miike's ultra-violent Lesson of the Evil, perhaps you might want to choose Honyaki.

For the very British Hyde Park on Hudson, why not opt for something from the Rivington Grill? The Spanish offerings at Al Hambra are clearly suited to those watching the fairy tale-esque black-and-white melodrama Blancanieves. The Noodle Room? The Chinese Second World War drama Back to 1942.

We could go on. Unfortunately, anyone going for Death Metal Angola might struggle to take part in this game.

When to arrive

Make sure you get to the screening a good 15 minutes before it starts, otherwise you might find your seat has been given to someone in the standby queue.

What to look forward to

Naturally, like us, you're looking forward to everything. But if you don't have the required free time (or HG Wells's machine) to sit through all 161 films, why not go for something a bit different that might not make it to mainstream cinema, such as the impressive Arab line-up or the AsiaAfrica programme?


The Dubai International Film Festival runs from Sunday until December 16. Visit www.dubaifilmfest.com for more information