x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Vox plans to come to even more cinema screens near you

VOX Cinemas is planning on blockbuster growth, more than doubling the number of its screens across the region next year.

Vox Cinemas is planning on blockbuster growth, more than doubling the number of its screens across the region next year.

The UAE-based chain, which is part of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas, currently operates 50 screens in five cinemas across Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Ajman.

By the end of next year it will add five more locations, with three cinemas overseas and two more in its home market. And more announcements are expected to follow early next year. Vox aims to open an 11-screen cinema at Fujairah City Centre in the first quarter of next year, plus a renovated seven-screen operation at Mercato Mall in Dubai.

The shopping centre "is a loved and highly frequented mall that retains its intimate and personal atmosphere", said Cameron Mitchell, the company's chief executive.

"Vox is enhancing and upgrading the overall experience by giving visitors a premium movie-going experience that we are sure will exceed the expectations of guests," he added.

Abroad, the chain plans to expand into Lebanon and Oman. "Vox Cinemas aims to raise the standard of cinematic excellence in both key markets. Characterised by a relatively underdeveloped, but emerging, cinema landscape, there is a prime opportunity to leverage the success of Vox Cinemas in the UAE and export the big-screen digital experience to residents across the region," said Mr Mitchell.

The cinema at Beirut City Centre, a shopping mall currently under development by Majid Al Futtaim Properties, is expected to open early next year, and two further cinema locations will follow in Muscat by December next year.

"Building upon the successful platform the Vox Cinemas brand has achieved in the UAE, Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas is poised for further growth as it looks to enter new, emerging markets," said Ahmed Galal Ismail, the chief executive of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures.

"This reflects the wider vision of Majid Al Futtaim Ventures to grow its entertainment concepts across the Middle East region, and we are confident that Vox Cinemas will continue to redefine the entertainment landscape in these new and future markets."

Further announcements about expansion plans may be made early next year, said Mr Mitchell. "An announcement on Vox Cinema's entrance into other Northern Emirates is expected in the coming months," he said. "We have identified a need for premium cinema entertainment in Ras Al Khaimah and Umm Al Quwain, and will continue to look at all opportunities in these expanding emirates."

The chain is also studying countries elsewhere in the region, he added.

gduncan@thenational.ae