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From Tuesday February 15, cinemas in the UAE can finally return to full capacity for movie screenings. Until now, tickets were bought in multiples of two and even members of the same family had to sit apart. The Media Regulatory Office of the Ministry of Culture and Youth announced news via Emirates News Agency (WAM).

The decision was made by the National Emergency Crisis and Disasters Management Authority (NCEMA), who stipulated that each emirate can choose its own cinema capacity, easing or tightening procedures as they deem fit.

Dr. Rashid Khalfan Al Nuaimi, Executive Director of the Media Regulatory Office, said: “Since the beginning of the pandemic the UAE has handled the crisis very professionally. The decision to raise capacity in cinemas follows the success of the efforts of the UAE government agencies in combating the spread of COVID-19. The strict precautionary measures imposed by the agencies and the community’s adherence to those have reduced the spread of the virus and ensured the health and safety for all.”

Preventive measures such as mandatory masks will remain in place for the time being, and residents are reminded to adhere to procedures to curb the spread of the virus.

Now that group movie dates are back on the agenda, and Hollywood continues to deliver top new blockbusters each week, click here for our guide to the latest movie releases in UAE cinemas.

Image: Getty