Filming in the UAE? Here's Everything You Need to Know

1 Sep


Filming in the UAE? Here's Everything You Need to Know

Do you want to film in the UAE? Thanks to its stunning landscapes and modern architecture, it is a popular destination for filmmakers worldwide. But is filming in the UAE a complex process?

Let's look at it.

Filming in the UAE is subject to specific regulations. Before starting filming, there's a lot to consider: licensing, permits, and equipment rentals. 

So, if you’re planning on filming in the UAE and want help navigating this process, read this article first!

Have the Right Licenses and Film Permits

Your film crew must first have the necessary licenses and permits. This is because filming without these documents can lead to fines or jail time.

It is also essential that your team is aware of how to obtain filming permits. You can follow the following steps:

  • Apply for the permit at least a week before your shoot date. 
  • You will be required to submit all relevant documents, such as storyboards and scripts, along with your application. 
  • You should also provide details about the content of your film.
  • Once your application has been approved, you will receive a location permit indicating where you can film legally. 
  • Make sure that your location matches what was approved by the authorities, as some places may be restricted due to religious or cultural reasons. 

The second thing is what type of film permit you will need. There are two kinds of permits: temporary and permanent. A temporary permit is usually issued for only one day, while a permanent permit can be issued for up to 90 days.

And It's important to note that it's illegal to shoot in public areas without permission from authorities; if caught doing so, you could face fines or jail time as confiscation of equipment used in shooting!

Put Together Your Script and Storyboard

The storyboard is a visual representation of the script and blueprint for putting your film together. It helps you visualize each scene before you start filming. Ensure all the shots are in place before you put them on the screen.

It also helps in planning your film locations. What type of location or environment would fit best with your vision, which can ultimately save time and money when searching for appropriate places to shoot at later on?

Take Care of Your Production Needs

When you’re ready to shoot your film in the UAE, consider these to meet your production needs.

  • Hire a production company to handle everything from casting to post-production. 
  • Find film locations that meet your needs and satisfy government regulations. 
  • Obtain necessary permits and licenses before filming begins.

The process might seem overwhelming, but we are here to help you get your projects off the ground. 

Scout Out Film Locations

Location is everything when it comes to shooting a movie or TV show; UAE offers plenty of exotic locales — from deserts to mountains, beaches, and even cities with ancient architecture — all close to each other. 

It is home to some of the world's most luxurious accommodations — Need a break from filming? You will have no hard time finding a nice place to rest your head.

Do your research. Think about the type of film you want to make and the location that best suits it. But it can be a lot to do, so let us help you scout the best location for your next shoot. 

Hire the Best Film Crews

There are many skilled people in the UAE who can help make your film production run smoothly. You will get everything needed to start — from camera equipment and lighting to location scouting.

Finding the right film crew for your production can be daunting, but it is one of the most critical steps in getting your project off to a great start. There are many things to consider when hiring a film crew:

  • Their experience and track record of success
  • Their availability and flexibility
  • Their willingness to meet your needs (and ask questions)
  • Their ability to work within your budget.

Know All the Filming Regulations

In addition to licenses and permits, you will need to keep in mind:

  • The city's airports (Dubai International Airport and Al Maktoum International Airport) are off-limits unless special permission is granted by the Dubai Civil Aviation Authority (DCA).
  • Places of worship include mosques and churches; it's only allowed with special permissions from their respective religious authorities.
  • Some historical buildings like Al Fahidi Fort may not be filmed due to their cultural significance or because they're still being used today by some government agencies; check with them before filming there!

Also Read: Film Permit in Abu Dhabi: What You Need To Know

Get the Right Type of Equipment

Shooting your film in the UAE can be a great experience if you get the right equipment. Here are some tips on what to look for when purchasing the right camera and lenses.

  • Camera: A good camera will allow you to get sharp and crisp shots.
  • Audio: The right audio equipment will ensure that what people say is clear and audible on screen. That way, viewers won't miss a beat of the action!
  • Lighting: Lighting sets the mood for any shot—and if it isn't done well, then all of your hard work might end up being wasted. Make sure all of your lights are correctly set up before shooting starts so there aren't any surprises later on in post-production editing sessions where unwanted shadows have been cast across faces or other vital elements like flower petals or clouds (which may look great during daylight hours but appear dark gray after nightfall).
  • Grip/Gaffer: A grip is someone who helps keep track of all those wires that are used during shoots—they'll also ensure those cables don't get tangled up behind cameras during takes so everything stays nice and neat looking without distracting from anything else happening on screen at any given moment within an action sequence (or series' pilot episode).

Select the Best Time of Year For Filming in the UAE.

When choosing the best time of year to film in the UAE, you should consider the climate. The UAE has a hot desert climate with average temperatures ranging between 18°C and 39°C (64°F-102°F) throughout most of the year. However, this only applies to coastal regions; inland areas can be up to 30 degrees hotter due to their proximity to deserts.

Most festivals are held during spring or summer when temperatures are hotter but still bearable—even if you’re filming outdoors. And suppose your project is set during these times. In that case, it gives you more flexibility when scheduling shoots without worrying about inclement weather or other factors that may cause delays in production schedules.

Protect Yourself From Unexpected Charges

UAE filming is a great way to showcase your company's products and services. However, planning expenses when considering an overseas shoot can be challenging. You need to ensure that you are covered for all possible costs, so you don't get surprises when it comes time for payment. 

It’s essential for you not only to know how much travel should cost but also to make sure that these estimates are realistic in terms of how often people will use them throughout filming (and afterward). 


Filming in the UAE is complex, but it can be managed with some organization and advanced planning. Do you want to get all your permits? Let us handle your permissions while you focus on making a fantastic film!

Don’t let the complexity of filming in the UAE deter you from producing your film. It may take some time, but it's worth it to be able to tell your story. Armed with the right information, you'll be on your way to creating a fantastic movie!