Historically, it’s been a quiet time in cinemas in the Emirates, but this year there are huge movies releasing over the holy month. Here is our pick of what to watch.
Ramadan was once a quiet time for cinemas in the UAE: distributors and exhibitors agreed that the holy month was a period when people wanted to be at home with their families, and the common practice was to hold back films that released in other markets during the month until Eid weekend or beyond. Cinema release schedules during the month would be peppered with old, unheard of or unloved movies that distributors would drop into cinemas to clear their shelves or meet contractual agreements.
Then, in 2016, Disney decided to take a chance when it experimented by releasing the Pixar animation Finding Dory during Ramadan, at the same time as the rest of the world. The results were emphatic – Finding Dorysmashed box office projections, attracting double the audience the major chains had predicted and comfortably topped the box office for the month.
The studios took note, and last year a trickle of big ticket films, including Wonder Woman and The Mummy, released during Ramadan, pulling in the crowds, and this year the floodgates have opened, with big blockbuster releases almost every weekend. Here’s our rundown of some of the biggest releases to look forward to. Bear in mind that release dates can change at short notice, so check local listings before heading out.