The UAE's first educational, four-dimensional cinema opened this weekend, just in time for the Eid holidays.
The Dome Box at Box Park aims to reach out to children and caters for demand for indoor entertainment during the summer.
Jean-Marc Bled, general manager at Meraas, the company behind the concept, said: "Our movies are different from the ones you find at conventional cinemas. It is our mission to inspire and engage families with the story lines, and to this end, we screen cinematic productions that are educational. ”
Situated in the new shopping area of Box Park on Al Wasl Road, the cinema hosts animated films as short as eight minutes long.
Though the first weekend was quiet, Mr Bled hoped the Eid holidays will be a time for locals and tourists to try the attraction.
"There is a dire need for additional high quality indoor entertainment in the region, and the Dome Box adds a novel experience to Dubai's leisure and entertainment landscape,” he said. "As Eid is traditionally spent with the family, this is the perfect time to come to the Dome Box with loved ones and enjoy quality time.”
Unlike conventional cinemas, the venue offers leaning bars and beanbags to enjoy the 360-degree experience, also equipped with haze, wind and scent effects for a fully sensory experience. Emirati engineer Rashid Al Hammadi took his two children, Zayed, eight, and Meera, four, at the weekend.
The family from Abu Dhabi wanted to explore the new neighbourhood, he said.
"It's a nice concept,” said Mr Al Hammadi. "For the children, it's something nice for them to do. It's a good family attraction. It's a good way to educate the kids in a different way, too.”
Omar Kandil, 24, a public relations executive, said the concept was "innovative”.
"It was very different and a very immersive experience but it would be good to see some more adult options available,” said Mr Kandil. The Egyptian expatriate saw two films, the eight-minute long Africa and 33-minute The Life of Trees, which was about photosynthesis and osmosis.
"The whole 4D experience is very realistic even to the point where you feel some motion sickness in some of the quicker scenes.”
One drawback, he said, was the issue of language. Though many films are available in Arabic and English, he said: "I know most people here speak English but I think it would be good to have some simultaneous translation so every movie is accessible. If this is to be educational, you want it to have as much impact as possible.”
Source: The National