Art and Experience: Movie theaters and other entertainment facilities are set to reopen in Dubai on Wednesday, as the United Arab Emirates begins to lift coronavirus lockdown restrictions.

Vox Cinemas, the top exhibition chain in the Middle East, has announced that its multiplexes in several Dubai malls are set to reopen tomorrow, with social distancing and sanitary measures in place.

Additionally Vox is reopening its Ski Dubai, indoor ski-dome (pictured), the Dreamscape virtual reality adventure park, and its large Magic Planet family entertainment center with games and rides for children, including rollercoasters, inside the Mall of the Emirates.

Oddly movie theaters in Abu Dhabi, which is also located in the UAE, remain shuttered. Cinemas in nearby Kuwait, Bahrein, and in Saudi Arabia also remain closed.

The UAE has been hit relatively mildly by the coronavirus pandemic with more than 30,000 cases and 248 deaths.

Vox, which operates 514 movie screens across the Middle East, earlier this month opened a drive-in cinema in Dubai, which is only drive-in operating in the region’s most cosmopolitan city.

Vox parent company Majid Al Futtaim, is using fogging machines at all of its venues to disinfect large spaces. All surfaces within the venues will be sanitized after every guest interaction, with particular attention paid to counter tops and payment terminals.

All movie theaters will operate at a limited capacity, with distancing ensured for moviegoers by so-called “safety ambassadors.”

Capacity of restrooms and elevators will also be capped, and opening times for all movie theaters and entertainment venues will be aligned with the adapted opening times of malls. Dubai currently has an 11 P.M. curfew.

All clients are encouraged to pre-book tickets to limit the need for any lines, and contactless payment is being encouraged. Both staff and moviegoers will be required to wear masks as per the UAE government’s guidelines, and temperature checks will be carried out upon arrival.

“With the continued support of the United Arab Emirates government, I am confident in our ability to navigate these unprecedented times together,” said Cameron Mitchell, chief executive officer of Majid Al Futtaim Cinemas and Majid Al Futtaim Leisure and Entertainment, in a statement.

“Our staff have demonstrated resilience in addressing the challenges of this unique period, and I’m extremely proud of their remarkable efforts that will now allow our entertainment experiences to reopen safely.”

Titles of the films being released in Dubai tomorrow by Vox were not immediately disclosed.

“It’s a start but it’s not going to move the needle,” said Middle East distributor Gianluca Chakra, head of Dubai-based Middle East distributor Front Row Filmed Entertainment, who noted that it will be “a maximum of three shows a day at 30% capacity, due to regulations.”

Source: Variety