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UAE movie-goers share their views

Many find cinema ticket prices in UAE to be alright but believe that prices of popcorn and soft drinks are expensive

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Prashant Jana, 25, Indian, salesman

“I go to the cinema 6-8 times at least per year. I think the ticket price of Dh30 is OK, but the price of popcorn and soft-drinks is too high.

“I suppose I could watch films on my mobile for free, but going to the cinema with friends is an enjoyable experience that’s worth paying for. Plus, you can’t get the same audio-video resolution of a big screen on your mobile.”

Ansar Javed, 29, Pakistani, crane operator

“I see a movie at the cinema around 4-5 times a year, more if there are good movies out.

“Ticket prices are neither cheap nor expensive, but the refreshments at the cinema are priced too high — I pay around Dh8 for Pepsi and Dh5 for popcorn.

“I don’t think online viewing has made any difference to the crowds at cinemas. You can’t watch a movie with family and friends on a mobile.”

Faisal Ahmad, 26, Bangladeshi, watchman

“I only go to the cinema once or twice a year. I only go for the blockbusters, or on Eid days.

“The ticket prices are ‘moderately expensive. But the cold drinks and popcorn are expensive. Why do they have to be double the price?

“I do believe watching movies online has pulled some people away from the cinema — it’s cheaper and saves the time spent in going to the cinema, queuing for tickets, and coming back home.”

Husnain Ali, 27, Pakistani

“I watch a movie every month or so. Dh35 is not too much for a movie ticket.

“I like Indian movies and mostly watch them at stand-alone cinemas. I don’t download movies.”

Sunil Parekkel, Indian, working in cargo

“Depending on the movie, I go to the cinema with my wife and two boys once a month. I prefer watching online movies too. However, if it is a good movie, like Spiderman, you have to watch it on a big screen to enjoy it. “In fact, we have started using a credit card which allows us to buy one cinema ticket and get the other one free. Earlier, we did not watch movies much because of the high price of tickets, but the credit card offer helps us to even buy two and get two free. Earlier, it would cost me Dh140 to go to the movies with wife and two sons and that was without snacks. But with popcorn and drinks, it would cost me Dh220. Now it costs me Dh100. “The prices have changed over the past 15 years. Cinema tickets used to cost Dh20, but now they can go up to Dh40.”

Jamie Morton, 39, British

“The ticket prices in Abu Dhabi and England are almost the same. Dh35 for a movie is not that much. I go to the movies almost every second or third week.”

— By Faisal Masudi, Anwar Ahmad and Mary Achkhanian, Staff Reporters