Film Permit in Abu Dhabi: What You Need To Know

5 Feb


Film Permit in Abu Dhabi: What You Need To Know

For a blooming industry like filmmaking, Middle Eastern destinations have become more popular than ever for production. You have a big project, you are excited about it, and we are ready to make it happen. But before you start filming in Abu Dhabi, you need one thing: A Film Permit.

While technicalities of a new location can certainly seem overwhelming for filmmakers, with the right experts involved, it is actually a relatively simple process. The good news is that you don't need to worry about this process alone.

In this article, we will address some popular queries on filmmaking in UAE. Starting with the basics to the process of acquiring one, we will provide you with a go-to guide on Abu Dhabi film permits. 

What is a Film Permit?

A film permit is an official legal document that allows you to film in a specific location. A Film Permit in Abu Dhabi is issued by the Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) and is required for all filming activities there.

What is the Need for a Film Permit in Abu Dhabi?

If you are planning to shoot your next film in Abu Dhabi, you must understand the reasons behind the city's film permit requirements. A film permit is every filmmaker’s legal cover for producing content for commercial purposes in Abu Dhabi, which is one of the most popular destinations for filmmakers in the world. 

The region offers an incredible landscape that is used to create any type of scene imaginable, including desert scenes, beaches, mountains, and more. But, just like any other destination, the unique culture and heritage of Abu Dhabi need to be respected. 

The Abu Dhabi Film Commission wants to ensure that it can protect its image and its citizens' safety and privacy. So, the best way to ensure that your film does not face any legal issues mid-production, is to apply for a film permit in Abu Dhabi beforehand.

Abu Dhabi Film Commission

You need approval from the Abu Dhabi Film Commission to start production in the city. Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) is responsible for facilitating the growth of film production in the Emirate. Therefore, filming permission is granted for the specific public location(s) you mention on your permit application form. 

While filming in private locations, you must agree on terms with the respective location owner and sign a location agreement for each private location. The fees charged to get the film permit is designed to cover its operating costs.

Types of Filming Permits in Abu Dhabi

The type of film permit you need will depend on the length, the subject matter of your film, and where you plan to film.


  • If on the ground, you will require either a Public Ground Permit or a Private Location Permit – depending on the status of the location.
  • If in the air, you will require an aerial permit.
  • If offshore, you will require a special permit to film at or close to oil installations.

Paperwork and Timeline

The process can take between three to four days if you have all the required paperwork. Therefore, getting the film permit as soon as possible is a good idea, especially if you're planning an outdoor shoot. 

The film permit application requires basic information about your project, such as the title, genre, and storyboard with pictures, along with specific locations in Abu Dhabi you need a permit for, so that authorities can gain a better understanding of the film you need to shoot in Abu Dhabi.

Also Read: Why You Should Produce Your Next Video or Film in Dubai

Apply Online

You can apply online for Abu Dhabi Film Permit through a registered production service company. Fill in the application form, add your details, and pay the fees applicable for the permit. You can expect your film permit within five working days after successfully submitting your application. Once you have received your permit, you can begin making arrangements for filming in Abu Dhabi. 

Production Service Company

A good production service company can help you seamlessly navigate the permitting process, take care of the technicalities, and avoid delays at all costs. This is where we come in!

We can assist you from permit acquisition to production support in Abu Dhabi. Additionally, we provide services like locating both public and private locations, crew, talent, and equipment in Abu Dhabi.

With the right professional help and support, you’re likely to get your permit in no time! Get in touch with UAE FilmPermit for a hassle-free shooting experience in Abu Dhabi.