The first Reel Cinemas movie megaplex (not Real Cinemas) in The Dubai Mall became the largest movie theatre complex in the UAE when all 22 cinema theaters opened, and the first to have a dedicated arthouse cinema for Charlie Chaplin or Orson Welles fans.
At the time of opening in August 2009, 10 out of the 22 screens were open with the rest opening on 12 November 2009.
Seats seem to be more comfortable and more spacious than other standard cinemas in Dubai (in our experience), so the press releases saying that weren't just hype. Or maybe that's just because they're new.
A second, smaller, Reel Cinemas cineplex opened in the Dubai Marina Mall on 22 July 2010 with broken seats and higher ticket prices than standard cinemas. Apparently the broken seats are a feature. We don't get it.
A third Reel Cinemas complex opened at The Beach, JBR The Walk, Dubai Marina area, in March 2014. This time with proper seats, like at The Dubai Mall.
Reel Cinemas ticket prices (for The Dubai Mall cineplex)
The Dubai Mall ticket price
Dubai Marina Mall ticket price
The Beach JBR The Walk ticket price
Add AED 4 booking fee (per booking, not per ticket) if booking online (at tickets.reelcinemas.ae).
The Beach Reel Cinemas complex
Literally on the beach at Jumeirah Beach Residence The Walk (JBR The Walk) in Dubai Marina area. Between the corniche road and the sand. Might be a good idea not to sit in the front row when it's high tide.
Free underground car parking for 3 hours - first car park entrance to your right along the JBR Corniche is under the Reel Cinemas complex (North car park). Present your movie ticket and car park ticket at the validation desk for free car parking. Otherwise it's 20 dhs per hour in 2014. The minimum 75 dhs spend applies to restaurants and cafes in the area, not movie tickets they told us.
Cinema complex has 10 screens including 3 Platinum Movie Suites, and Platinum Lounge.
Opening date in March 2014 (13 Mar 2014?).
Dubai Mall Reel Cinemas Cineplex
Reel Cinemas Cineplex opening date 14 August 2009 with 10 theatres. Opening date for the other 12 screens is 12 November 2009.
Tel +971-4-4491988 for bookings, or online at the Reel Cinemas or Dubai Mall websites (eventually), or at a couple of the customer service desks in The Dubai Mall (on the Ground Floor, one near Fashion Avenue, one near the Dubai Ice Rink).
Reel Cinemas location is on Level 2 (L2) of the Dubai Mall. For parking, follow signs to P2 and park on carpark L7 to get to L2 of the mall. Opposite Reel Cinemas is the Sega Republic, and behind that is the Dubai Kidzania.
22 screen cinema complex, including 4 Platinum Movie Suites with leather seats makes it the largest cinema complex in Dubai and the UAE. Second largest is the Ibn Battuta Mall cineplex with 20 screens.
Total seating capacity 2800, total area 150,000 sq feet, up from 110,000 sq feet in earlier press releases (about the size of a small shopping mall).
The Picturehouse is a dedicated art house film theatre (the first in Dubai), and has an arthouse lounge where moviegoers can discuss films and sound arty. Update Mar 2014, Picturehouse idea seems to have been abandoned - we haven't seen dedicated Picturehouse listings in the Reel Cinemas weekly update for a while.
3D display option available, and sound system has THX certification.
Design theme is "Hollywood Chic"
Cinema complex developed by Reel Entertainment LLC, a joint venture between Emaar and Cathay Organisation Holdings in Singapore.
Not related to Reel Cinemas in the UK (presumably).
Reel Cinemas 3D Digital Theatre
Reel Cinemas 3D theatre opened on 17 September 2009, first movie to be shown is "Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs", followed by "Toy Story" in 3D later in 2009.
Cinema 5 with seating for 215 people will be the new 3D movie theatre
Ticket prices AED 40 according to Reel Cinemas press release 17 September 2009.
Reel Cinemas Platinum seats
More comfortable, more expensive (AED 100+) - separate movie suites, not bigger seats in the same theatres were the peasants go.
Off-beat movies shown on a weekly or two-weekly rotation. Get in quick if you see one that interests you.
Your very own PictureHouse lounge where you can have a drink (non-alcoholic) and discuss the movie with other Picture House patrons.
'Premier' Reel Cinemas Dubai Marina Mall
Dubai Marina Mall 'Premier' Reel Cinemas cineplex opening date 22 July 2010 with 6 film theater screens, and seating capacity for 544 patrons.
The first "premier boutique cinemas" according to press release 08 July 2010, and customers can have "gourmet food and beverages delivered to their seats"
Online booking available, blankets and pillows supplied for extra cost.
Movie ticket prices AED 50 when opened, prices increased to AED 55 or 60 (date unknown) but seats still not fixed.
The strange seats at DMM Reel Cinemas are apparently a feature - we asked. And according to the manager we spoke to, we're the only ones to ever complain about the seats. The feature works like this: the seat falls back when you sit in it, and you can't fix it in the position you want. If you're fat it falls back further than if you're slim, so when a couple of us visited, the skinny one saw the movie and the fat one watched the ceiling. In a car, a plane, a train, at a dining table, anywhere else we can think of, we'd call the seat broken. It's possible it's a Reel Cinemas initiative to try and help with the obesity problem in the UAE but it seems to be a funny way to do it. Ticket prices are the same irrespective of your weight by the way.