The United Arab Emirates, more popularly referred to as UAE, is quite renowned for its scenic natural and man-made environments. In fact, it is one of the reasons that the UAE, particularly the Emirate of Dubai has become one of the visited tourist cities in the world.
But it isn't just tourists who seek out the UAE for vacation and holidays; it is also filmmakers who find the alluring skyline of the Emirati and its naturally pristine sandy deserts very suitable for their movie locations. But the question some have silently wondered about is: "Is Filming Allowed in the UAE?"
This article takes a look at whether the authorities of the UAE are amenable to filming within their domains, and if yes, what it might require to be able to do so.
The United Arab Emirates is made up of seven emirates: Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras Al Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm Al Quwain. The largest emirate is Abu Dhabi. The remaining six emirates are in the country's far north-eastern area.
Due to the richness and rapid growth of the country, it seems that there is an unlimited supply of modern architecture newly built. Besides the cities, the Emirates have beaches like white sand, desert dunes, the wadis, and arid mountains. The recently created roads and tunnels have been splendidly crossed by mountain vistas.
Because of the warm temperature, short flights, and well-established film infrastructure, European productions flock to the Emirates to film.
Big budget movie productions including, Dune (2021), Mission: Impossible – Fallout (2018), Star Trek Beyond (2016), Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), Fast & Furious 7 (2015), Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol (2011), The Kingdom (2007), and Syriana (2007) were all shot in the UAE (2005).
The Emirates are a famous destination for double Middle Eastern looks, as well as unusual film locations. The film War Machine (2017) was shot in Abu Dhabi for Afghanistan. Baby (2015) was the Abu Dhabi representative for Istanbul. Syriana (2005) substituted the Iranian desert for Dubai.
The primary producing centers are Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Thus film productions can be classified based on two categories: Productions based in Dubai and those based in Abu Dhabi. But because of the various attractive places that many directors and filmmakers find acceptable for their film productions, Dubai is the main business center and film production hub.
The capital and most important cultural center in Abu Dhabi. Some of the world's most magnificent new contemporary architecture may be found in the city's museums. The Louvre Abu Dhabi, the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum, the Maritime Museum, and the Performing Arts Centre are all worth visiting. Qasr Al Watan, Emirates Palace Hotel, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Al Dar HQ, and Capital Gate Building are among the notable monuments which provide great alternatives for film locations.
Emirates Film Location Permits
Visiting producers must apply for permits through a local production business, which will be in charge of the show. Because the UAE is film-friendly, obtaining a permit is usually a simple and quick process. Additional licenses are required for privately held locations such as the Burj Khalifa and the Dubai Mall. Filming critical government locations, as well as oil and gas operations, without permission is prohibited. Projects involving nudity or the promotion of alcoholic beverages are not permitted to be filmed in the UAE. In the United Arab Emirates, drone filming is possible.
When Should You Shoot?
The climate in most of the Emirates is desert, with high heat during the day and a sharp drop in temperature at night. The summer months of June to August are hot and humid, with high temperatures. Thunderstorms and dust storms can occur unexpectedly, reducing visibility. The greatest period to shoot for weather is from October to March when the weather is milder.
The United Arab Emirates is primarily a Muslim country. During the holy month of Ramadan, many services are closed, making filming more challenging.
The United Arab Emirates is a very safe and reliable filming center that encourages film production companies and independent filmmakers to make the most of the beautiful and unique filming locations that abound within the Emirati with various tax incentives. Anyone looking to film in the UAE will find it a decision well-made.
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Aug 19, 2021
by Eguaogie Eghosa