Never underestimate the power of teenage girls and their infatuation with vampire love stories. The premiere of New Moon, the second installment of the Twilight saga, was viewed by more than 2,000 people on the world's largest movie screen set up at the Dubai Media City Amphitheatre as part of a 10-day film series called Cinema under the Stars.
The kick-off night to the series saw tickets for New Moon sell-out in a matter of days. For some fans, the opportunity to watch their favourite dark romance underneath the moonlit sky was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. For technology geeks, the giant screen and powerful sound system stole the show.
I'm absolutely blown away by the sheer size of it all, said John Nitin, a 38-year-old software developer who was accompanied by his wife and two children.
My daughters pleaded with me to bring them here tonight for the film, but I came along to enjoy the special outdoor set-up in this beautiful cool winter weather.
One look at the seated audience and it was clear that young girls were by far the most prevalent demographic of the evening, and some of them came dressed for the occasion.
Sarah Abulhassan, 16, was joined by her five close friends; all of which were wearing heavy black eye-shadow and donning Twilight themed shirts. For Sarah, the dead look is really fashionable at the moment.
There is something about this movie that is so surreal, yet really beautiful, she explained. I know some people think it's just a stupid unrealistic movie about blood-sucking vampires, but it's actually a really well put together film series.
Moreover, Sara and her friends have all read the books, penned by successful author Stephanie Meyer, and would not miss the chance to witness the UAE film debut on the world's most impressive screen.
This film was made to be watched under the moon and stars, she said. It's all very romantic.
On the eve of national celebrations to mark the Islamic holiday of Eid-al-adha (Festival of the Sacrifice), families from all backgrounds turned out in droves to enjoy pre-movie dinner and snacks that were made available by several kiosks and food stalls from popular local eateries.
The second annual installment of the event, organised by Swiss OpenAir Concept, proved to be so successful in its first year that it increased audience seating by at least 500 this time around.
Zeina Moussa, a 22-year-old university student, was eager to begin her vacation at the opening of the film Thursday night. With the arrival of Eid and National Day so close together, I think spending a unique night out is the perfect way to start the celebrations, she said.
After all this is DubaiI wouldn't expect anything less than the biggest movie on the planet.
The film series will continue until December 7 and will include newly released titles each evening including Zombieland, Christmas Carol, Astro Boy and Amelia. December 1 and 6 will host a special surprise Bollywood film as well.