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Cinemas for Labourers

Cinemas for Labourers

The Twin Cinema at Al Quoz Mall is a great hit among labourers who find it both an affordable and convenient form of entertainment

May 1, 2011 3:21 by

Cynical old Kipp whines and moans about how terrible living in the UAE is so often, we thought we’d take some time out to smell the bitter sweet roses.

This morning we read an interesting feature in The National which focused on the Twin Cinema at Al Quoz Mall (the low-cost mall built by labourers for labourers that opened earlier this year). The cinema, which is significantly closer to the workers’ accommodation, allows them to watch movies in a variety of languages for as little as Dh20. And although Kipp thinks Dh20 is still rather pricey, the appeal of this cinema is proximity.

Formerly, workers living in the outskirts of Dubai would have to spend at least four hours (both ways) to Deira to watch films that were showing in their language. Take, for instance, the words of Mariappan, a carpenter who lives at Al Quoz camp who told The National, “In the last eight years I have been in Dubai, I never went to the movies. It was just too much effort to travel to the city and spend so much money (…) I watch nearly five films a month now.” The cinemas have been so well recieved, that “the workers are calling for more cinemas near their accommodations to save on transport costs and travel time” reports the National.

And, as heart-warming as this story is, it is also a bitter sweet reminder of just how isolated and deprived of entertainment labourers in the UAE are.

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