Cinema Akil opens seasonal outdoor location with free film screenings

The new hub at 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central will remain open until May

The first and current season of Cinema Akil in 25hours will run until May. Photo: Cinema Akil
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Cinema Akil, the independent art house cinema platform in Alserkal Avenue, has opened a free seasonal outdoor location called Cinema Akil in 25hours.

Located at the 25hours Hotel Dubai One Central, the pavilion is divided into three sections – the box office concession area, a multipurpose retail pop-up space and an open cinema theatre, which can accommodate up to 72 people.

“Cinema Akil in 25hours is more than just a cinema, it’s a vibrant hub where film and culture converge, reflecting the dynamic spirit of Dubai,” said Butheina Kazim, founder of Cinema Akil.

“Bringing a bespoke version of the Cinema Akil experience to 25hours Hotel is a significant milestone in our mission to champion the culture of film and the cinematic arts, while exposing international cinema to regional audiences.”

Kazim sees the new outpost as a space that pays tribute to Dubai’s constant evolution while aligning with Cinema Akil’s own ethos.

The open atrium venue was designed by architect Joud Malhas, who used red scaffolding as a major design element. It is a nod and homage to Dubai's evolutionary story through construction as well as Cinema Akil’s flagship colour.

While Cinema Akil in 25hours is open daily from 12pm to 10pm, the free films screenings are subject to prior booking online and will take place four times a week, on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays, between 7:30pm and 8:00pm.

The venue will remain open until May with a new, diverse and curated programme introduced each month. There are plans to reopen it every winter.

The first free screening in December will be Farha, the Darin J Sallam directed film, which tells the story of a Palestinian girl, 14, witnessing the 1948 Nakba.

The rest of the programme for the month includes the classic film Home Alone directed by Chris Columbus and starring Macaulay Culkin, along with documentaries such as The Black Power Mix Tape, Rolling Like Thunder and Summer of Soul.

More information is available at

Updated: November 29, 2023, 9:55 AM