Dubai’s drive-in cinema review: Get your engines ready for an old school cinema experience starting Sunday

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VOX Drive-in cinema has one screening a day for 75 cars and costs Dh180 per car.

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Cinemagoers in the UAE now have a nostalgic option for a movie watching experience with the new VOX drive-in cinema at the Mall of the Emirates.

Located on the level 3 car park, the cinema is a trip down memory lane for many old timers of Dubai who would have fond memories of the Rex Drive-in on Al Khwaneej Road, which has now paved the way for the Etihad Mall.

Another favourite open-air cinema among Bollywood fans was the Andalus Cinema in Satwa where people could simply park their vehicles, bring their own meal and enjoy the movie in an al fresco setting.

Apart from its retro vibe, the new VOX Drive-in left us with a few mixed feelings at first glance. Firstly, it is a costlier option for an open-air cinema experience as it sets you back Dhs180 per vehicle. Though unlike its predecessors, where you could bring your own food, the ticket price at VOX Drive-in includes food in the form of fizzy drinks, popcorn and nachos. In line with current measures, only two people are allowed per car.

The audio experience is much better than the aforementioned Dubai establishments of the 1980s, people can listen to the film on their car radio, thanks to a set frequency of 87.6, which can be a hit and miss, depending on how close you are parked to the projector.

There are five lanes allocated for the drive-in cinema experience, each accommodating around 15 cars. You do not have to worry about a particular vantage point as the screen, tucked under the exterior of Ski Dubai ski slope, is high enough to give every parked car a chance to get a good view.

One point to consider is the cost of the fuel as you will continue running your car engine should you prefer your car’s own air conditioning, or you can bring the windows down and let the summer breeze keep your car ventilated. My fuel guzzling V8 engine went through around 130kms worth of fuel whilst idling, which is approximately around Dh20 to Dh30 of petrol. One could potentially rely on the breeze for now, though in the summer it may become unbearable.

Our verdict: It is a unique experience and a new getaway for people looking for an option to destress and resort to an old school option for their cinema experience. Though a price of Dhs180 per couple maybe too steep, considering there won’t be any new releases being played at the cinema.

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