x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Imax theatre opening at Meydan Racecourse

A seven-floor high cinema screen is set to open at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, showing big blockbusters alongside the traditional horse racing calendar.

A seven-storey cinema screen is set to open at the Meydan Racecourse in Dubai, showing blockbuster movies alongside the traditional horse racing.

The 29 metre wide by 22 metre high Imax cinema screen is currently in the middle of a soft opening ahead of the Dubai World Cup race meeting and is due to open to the public by the end of next month.

"People who have seen it have come out thinking it's great," said Goulam Raza Amarsy, the managing director of Primesco, which is operating the theatre.

"The idea is that during the month of April we will not open on a daily basis but we will have events for clients. At the end of April we will open to the general public."

The Dubai World Cup, the worlds's richest horse racetakes place tomorrow at Meydan, with thousands of spectators expected. The event started in 1996 and now offers US$10 million (Dh36.7m) in prize money.

The Imax theatre, which will be situated in the grandstand at Meydan, seats 560 people and will show Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters in the evenings.

During the middle of the day, the theatre hopes to attract schoolchildren and educational institutes to watch documentaries and informative films.

"We want to be a destination and will attract tourists," said Mr Amarsy, who said Primesco was in the process of creating a film describing Dubai to show at the cinema."Your friends will visit and they can see all of Dubai in 40 minutes," he said.

Primesco is also hoping to sign strategic partnerships with institutions such as the British Film Institute, the Smithsonian museum in Washington and the Paris theatre La Géode. The Imax theatre will have an official opening at the end of Ramadan. Its format was pioneered by Imax in Canada, allowing higher quality imgaes to be shown on a much bigger screens.

Primesco has signed a joint venture with an unnamed company to add the facilities on offer, including food options, at the cinema in the next few weeks.

rjones@thenational.ae