Dubai has become an increasingly popular destination for filmmakers from around the world. Its iconic skyline, modern infrastructure, and a blend of traditional and contemporary architecture provide a unique backdrop for various types of productions.
All of these have made Dubai a hub for local and international filmmakers. Whether for Hollywood blockbusters, Bollywood extravaganzas, or independent films, Dubai's cinematic appeal continues to grow. However, Dubai has some quirky things you may want to know, all of which make it even more unique!
From architecture and citizens to film permits for UAE — let's see what makes this place so attractive!
A Fleet of Luxury Police Cars
Dubai's Police Force boasts an unparalleled fleet of the world's most luxurious and high-speed cars, with over a dozen vehicles patrolling the city 24/7, a sight unlike any other. These supercars include the Bugatti Veyron, Mercedes AMG GT 63 S, Lamborghini Aventador, Aston Martin One-77, Bentley Continental GT and Ferrari FF.
Dubai's extravagant police car fleet has often appeared in films, television shows, and documentaries. The juxtaposition of these supercars against the city's modern skyline and desert landscapes provides a visually stunning and unique backdrop for various cinematic productions.
Filmmakers seeking to infuse a sense of luxury, opulence, and high-speed action into their projects find Dubai's police cars captivating for their storytelling. This showcases Dubai's cinematic appeal and its ability to offer distinctive visuals that elevate the production value of films and TV programs.
The Tallest Buildings
The Burj Khalifa, towering at an impressive height of 828 metres and comprising 163 floors, stands as an unchallenged titan on the global stage of man-made structures.
Nevertheless, Dubai's ambitions do not stop there. In 2016, construction began on the Dubai Creek Tower, which, upon completion, will soar to a staggering height of 1,300 metres. This audacious endeavour is in direct competition with Saudi Arabia's Jeddah Tower, aiming for a lofty 1,000 metres.
These towering architectural marvels have become iconic symbols of Dubai's skyline and have frequently graced the screen in various cinematic productions. Their breathtaking height, futuristic designs, and unique locations offer filmmakers a captivating canvas to craft visually stunning narratives.
These skyscrapers serve as prominent landmarks and integral elements in films, adding a touch of grandeur and modernity to the storytelling, further cementing Dubai's status as a cinematic hotspot for directors and producers seeking awe-inspiring backdrops.
Diversity among Dubai Locals
The United Arab Emirates has experienced an astounding surge in population growth in recent decades, driven by a unique set of factors that may not align with conventional expectations. This remarkable expansion is not primarily attributable to matters of affection but rather stems from a series of government policies designed to facilitate the relocation of foreigners and businesses, offering them security and a wealth of opportunities.
The outcome has been nothing short of astonishing, with nearly 90% of the population consisting of foreign residents. However, there is a caveat to this arrangement — expatriates are only eligible to apply for citizenship after completing a residency period of 20 years.
This population composition and the intriguing path to citizenship in the UAE provide fertile ground for diverse and culturally rich narratives. Filmmakers often explore the lives, experiences, and challenges of expatriates living in this dynamic and cosmopolitan environment. These stories offer a unique lens through which to examine themes of identity, belonging, and cultural exchange, making the UAE a compelling backdrop for cinematic storytelling that resonates with audiences worldwide.
A Broad Spectrum of Filming Locations
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is becoming an increasingly attractive destination for filmmakers worldwide, thanks to its rapidly growing reputation as a thriving cinematic hub. The UAE offers an unrivalled setting for a broad spectrum of cinematic endeavours with its state-of-the-art infrastructure, diverse landscapes, and cutting-edge facilities.
Filmmakers are captivated by the UAE's unique blend of contemporary allure and historical enchantment. The futuristic skyline of Dubai, the timeless charm of Abu Dhabi, and the awe-inspiring natural beauty of its deserts and mountains collectively provide a rich tapestry of captivating backdrops. Whether filmmakers seek a modern urban setting or a historical gem, the UAE accommodates the diverse needs of both local and international film productions, making it the perfect choice for filmmakers from all corners of the globe.
Restrictions on Intimacy Scenes in Public Settings
It is essential to be aware that public displays of affection, such as hugging and kissing, are not advisable in the UAE, as they are regarded as offensive behaviour. Engaging in such actions can lead to undesirable consequences, affecting locals and tourists alike. These guidelines stem from a combination of legal regulations and cultural beliefs, and they are to be observed as a mark of respect when visiting any foreign country. The UAE, including Dubai, is no different as it upholds its own distinct set of laws, regulations, and a code of conduct that visitors are expected to adhere to during their stay.
Embarking on a cinematic endeavour within the UAE necessitates the acquisition of an essential UAE permit for shooting. Whether you are crafting a full-length feature film, a captivating documentary, an engaging drama, a compelling short film, or any other creative project, securing these permissions is a pivotal and non-negotiable step.
Before setting your film crew in motion, ensuring that all requisite licences and permits are diligently obtained is imperative. Overlooking this crucial facet of the process can lead to unfavourable consequences, ranging from financial penalties to potential legal entanglements.
Understanding how to navigate the process of securing these permits is equally critical. To effectively manoeuvre through this intricate terrain, consider the following guidelines:
- Initiate the permit application at least one week in advance of your scheduled shoot. This lead time allows for proper processing and approval.
- Compile and submit all pertinent documents, including storyboards and scripts, alongside your application. These documents provide essential context for the authorities.
- Furnish comprehensive details regarding the content and context of your film. Transparency is vital in the approval process.
- Upon approval, a location permit will be granted, designating the authorised areas for filming. Strict adherence to these sanctioned locations is vital, as certain sites may have restrictions rooted in religious or cultural considerations.
There are two main categories — temporary and permanent permits. Temporary permits, valid for a single day, are well-suited for brief shoots, whereas a permanent permit extends to a maximum of 90 days.
A fundamental reminder: filming in UAE public areas without the proper authorisation is strictly prohibited by law.
Staying well within the bounds of legality is paramount to ensure a seamless and fulfilling cinematic experience.
Explore further: Some of the Most Amazing Outdoor Filming Locations in Dubai
How UAE Film Permit Helps
Are you preparing for an exciting filming venture in Dubai? Your search ends here, as our film permit agency is committed to offering you the expert guidance and assistance you require. Bid farewell to cumbersome paperwork and lengthy waiting periods as our user-friendly online platform transforms the process of location scouting and obtaining a UAE Film Permit.
With just three straightforward steps, you will be well on your way to securing your permit:
- Sign up on our website and create your customised profile, ensuring a seamless experience from beginning to end.
- Complete the online application form, effortlessly providing all the necessary details, including uploading essential documents such as your script.
- Your eagerly anticipated permit will be in your possession within five working days.
Seize the opportunity to realise your creative vision and embark on an extraordinary journey of filmmaking. Apply for a Film Permit today, and watch the enchantment unfold as your scripts materialise into a cinematic reality.