The Importance of Location Scouting in the UAE Before Applying for a Film Permit

22 Mar


The Importance of Location Scouting in the UAE Before Applying for a Film Permit

A film's location is a potent visual catalyst with profound effects on the overall cinematic experience you’re trying to create. The synergy between actors, setting, and cinematography transcends into the emotional resonance felt by the audience as they witness scenes unfolding. 

The selection of a filming location is singularly the most impactful and persuasive factor in filmmaking. At UAE Film Permit, we’ve helped numerous filmmakers find their perfect spot! 

In the contemporary era of digital advancements, filmmakers and production companies often find themselves tempted to rely solely on the Internet for all their needs. Succumbing to this mindset may result in overlooking location scouting. With our expertise in the industry, we recognize the paramount importance of physically exploring potential filming sites. 

We aim to impart our insights on why this hands-on process is indispensable for ensuring the success of your production in the UAE.

What Is Location Scouting?

Location scouting involves the discovery of suitable sites for shooting commercials, television shows, or movies. A designated location manager or scout is tasked with identifying both interior and exterior venues that can authentically portray the envisioned scenes outlined in a script. This process of location scouting holds significant importance as an integral component of the preproduction phase.

Let’s see why exactly it is important in the UAE, as well as the synergy of the location and your mandatory film permit in this country

Why Is Location Scouting Important?

Now that we covered what it is, let’s see why it’s important. In the UAE, the location for your shooting bears significant importance, as it ensures you comply with the laws here and you are respectful of the local culture. Let’s break it all down! 

Accuracy in Location Scouting

While online tools such as Google Maps and Street View offer a preliminary glimpse of a location, they frequently fall short of capturing the authentic essence of a place. But you want only the best for your movie scenes, right? 

That’s why engaging in a thorough location scout in-land allows filmmakers to obtain a more precise portrayal of the surroundings, empowering them to meticulously select the optimal spots for their scenes. You shouldn’t just rely on the web, but partner with a a reliable crew that will do the groundwork! 

Current Information

The internet, at times, presents outdated or deceptive information, potentially causing delays and unforeseen challenges that can occur during production. Through location scouting, filmmakers gain access to real-time, precise details about the area, effectively eliminating any surprises on the set. People who live and work in your desired location have the best insight into seasonal changes and happenings in the area. 

Local Culture

Understanding local culture and customs plays a pivotal role in ensuring a seamless production process. And it goes especially for the UAE. Location scouts serve as cultural liaisons, facilitating the establishment of positive relationships with local communities. 

As the UAE is full of places that have significant cultural and religious importance, you need to ensure everything is handled with respect. Our role is integral in guaranteeing that the production remains respectful and considerate of its surroundings throughout the filmmaking journey.

Access and Convenience

Virtual scouting falls short in evaluating the accessibility and convenience of a location. Through an on-site scout, teams can appraise factors such as transportation logistics, the availability of local resources, and the proximity of facilities, all of which can significantly impact the success or challenges faced during a shoot.

Give us a call and see how Film Permit UAE can help you out! 

Why Do You Need to Scout Location Before Applying for a Film Permit?

In the UAE, it is important to obtain a film permit for the shoot location to ensure that you respect the boundaries of the law. Also, location scouting will help you get to your film permit much faster, as it helps you define a few different factors listed below - 


Selecting a location requires careful consideration of its size, ensuring it can adequately accommodate both your crew and equipment. Striking the right balance is crucial, as a site that is either too small or excessively large can have a direct impact on the overall production.


The audio quality within a location is a critical factor that can significantly influence the success or failure of your video. Ensuring favourable acoustics and minimal background noise is imperative to guarantee a positive auditory experience for your audience.

Backgrounds and Extras

Choosing appropriate props and backdrops is key to establishing the desired tone for your video, but it is crucial to ensure they harmonise with the specific location. For instance, when filming a corporate video, it's important to avoid overly bright settings, as bold colours may not convey the intended tone effectively.


Choosing appropriate props and backdrops is key to establishing the desired tone for your video, and crucial to ensure they harmonise with the specific location. For instance, when filming a corporate video, it is important to avoid overly bright settings, as bold colours may not convey the intended tone effectively.

What To Consider For Your Scout Location

Other than the importance of location scouting there are several things you need to consider when thinking about your ideal location! 


Location helps you get in line with what you envision for your film. So it’s important to provide some answers when searching for a location. The important one is: Does the venue align with the director's vision and the narrative depicted in the script?


Distance is an equally important parameter, as it can seriously affect your production budgets. Evaluate the distance between the primary film office and the location to gauge the practicality of transporting the cast, crew, and equipment to the site.


Within a film budget, there is a designated line item for locations. When dealing with multiple locations in the UAE, assess whether there are associated fees for each and ascertain the respective costs. If any location exceeds the allocated budget, consider negotiating with the owner to find a mutually agreeable solution.


When evaluating each location, examine the practicalities of filming, including considerations such as parking availability, cell reception, access to electrical power sources, space for craft services, and restroom facilities.


Include observations on both natural and interior lighting in your scouting notes, so we can hit the perfect ambiance. This is where we can focus on identifying any ambient sounds, such as nearby roads, creeks, or air conditioners, that might pose challenges for sound recording during filming. Additionally, we’ll take note of the overall climate in the area so you know what you’re dealing with.


When a director embarks on a production, they typically possess a clear vision for bringing it to fruition. The essence of location scouting lies in transforming that vision into reality by discovering the perfect setting. While some instances may present an ideal building or set that seamlessly aligns with the story, others may require finding a space adaptable enough for the production team to shape it to fit the narrative.

Think About the Weather

Weather is a crucial factor to contemplate when selecting a location. For outdoor shoots, it is essential to choose a place with predominantly favourable weather conditions. Conversely, for indoor shoots, securing a space that is available for the entire duration of your project is paramount.

Acquiring Film Permits

Even when you believe you've discovered the ideal location, it is advisable to consult your local film commission or permitting office. Most locations mandate a filming permit, and certain places may impose restrictions on permissible activities.

When seeking to secure a location, always carry your permit. This documentation serves as proof of your filming authorization, increasing the likelihood of obtaining exclusive rights to the site.

But how to get one? This is where we come in! 

The Procedure at UAE Film Permit

This regulatory framework ensures that authorities are adequately informed and can efficiently oversee filmmaking endeavours, promoting order and mitigating potential issues.

Our film permit agency is committed to simplifying this process for you. Bid farewell to the complexities of paperwork and extended waiting periods, as our user-friendly online platform is poised to revolutionise the experience of location scouting and acquiring a UAE Film Permit. In three straightforward steps, you can expedite your permit acquisition:

  • Initiate the process by registering on our website and creating a personalised profile for a seamless experience.
  • Effortlessly complete the online application form, providing all necessary details and uploading essential documents, including your script.
  • Anticipate holding your eagerly awaited permit within just five business days.


The symbiotic relationship between location scouting and obtaining a film permit in the UAE is indispensable for a successful and culturally respectful production. The selection of a filming location transcends mere aesthetics, encompassing factors like size, sound, lighting, and logistical considerations.

As filmmakers navigate the dynamic landscape of location scouting, the significance of real-time information, cultural awareness, and on-the-ground assessments cannot be overstated.

Film Permit UAE stands as a dedicated ally in this intricate process, streamlining the acquisition of permits and facilitating a seamless transition from scouting to production. Our commitment to providing current, accurate information, coupled with a user-friendly online platform, empowers filmmakers to navigate the complexities of securing the perfect location and requisite permits efficiently. 

Contact us today by clicking the button below and find out how we can help you out!