Rules and Regulations To Follow When Filming in UAE

27 Sep


Rules and Regulations To Follow When Filming in UAE

UAE, a dazzling oasis in the desert, draws over 10 million visitors annually, compelling more filmmakers to explore its limitless potential every year. To make the most of your filming visit here, it's essential to familiarise yourself with local filming rules and regulations, ensuring a seamless experience barring any legal complications.

There are strict guidelines governing photography, filming and sharing of prohibited materials in the UAE. Within the legal framework, authorities can detain a suspect for up to 2 days before prosecution. Join us as we share this comprehensive list of regulations to acquaint you with local sensitivities and ensure a smooth production.

You Cannot Film Local Women

UAE is deeply rooted in Islamic traditions, and as such adheres to a unique set of laws and customs distinct from Western countries. That’s why filming local women requires explicit legal permission.

There are reputable model agencies available, offering the option to hire models and assist you in directing the shot in abayas for your creative projects.

No Alcohol Zone

While Dubai's hotels, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs offer ready access to alcohol, it's essential to remember that capturing scenes involving its consumption or related themes require explicit permission before filming.

Nothing Disgraceful

In adherence to its cultural and ethical standards, Dubai maintains a steadfast prohibition of vulgarity, nudity, and pornography under all circumstances. 

Any depiction that could potentially cast a negative image or amount to defamation of the Islamic faith is also strictly forbidden. These guidelines reflect the city's deep-seated values and emphasise the importance of maintaining a harmonious and respectful environment.

Watch Out for Places of Importance

Steer clear of capturing footage of government installations, regal palaces, or locales that exude political and military significance. Taking pictures of these landmarks is not permitted due to security concerns, unless you have a specific permit that explicitly authorised such actions.

No Permission, No Filming

Embarking on a cinematic journey in the UAE requires securing the necessary filming permissions. Whether you're crafting a movie, short film, captivating documentary, engaging drama, or any artistic creation, obtaining these permissions is a crucial step.

But that's not all – the art of filmmaking also involves seeking local authorities' blessings. Picture this: a shot within the dynamic embrace of the Metro or the vibrant corridors of a bustling mall. To bring your vision to life without a hitch, it's imperative to align with the Transport Authority for Metro scenes and gain the Mall administration's approval before your lens starts rolling. This harmonious collaboration ensures your creative endeavour unfolds smoothly, safeguarding against any unforeseen hiccups along the way.

Obtain the Right Permits

Before your film crew embarks on any cinematic venture, ensure that the requisite licences and permits are in place. Skipping this step can result in undesirable consequences like fines or even legal repercussions.

Equally vital is the knowledge of procuring these essential permits. To navigate this process effectively, consider the following guidelines:

  1. Initiate the permit application at least a week before your scheduled shoot.
  2. Compile and submit all pertinent documents, such as storyboards and scripts, alongside your application.
  3. Furnish comprehensive details about the content and context of your film.
  4. Upon approval, a location permit will be granted, indicating the sanctioned areas for filming.
  5. It's imperative to adhere strictly to the approved locations, as certain sites may have restrictions rooted in religious or cultural considerations.

Moreover, discerning the appropriate type of film permit is crucial. There exist two categories: temporary and permanent permits. Temporary permits, valid for a single day, are ideal for brief shoots, while a permanent permit extends to a maximum of 90 days.

A vital reminder — shooting in public areas without proper authorization is against the law. If apprehended, this could lead to penalties, jail time, and even confiscation of equipment used for filming. Staying well within the boundaries of legality is paramount for a seamless and rewarding cinematic experience.

Things To Remember

Your permit approval process can go even smoother and faster if you have a few things sorted out beforehand! 

Get Your Script in Order

Think of the storyboard as your script's visual counterpart and the architect's blueprint for crafting your film. With its aid, you can pre-visualize every scene before the cameras start rolling. Prioritise confirming all shots align cohesively before they're brought to life on screen.

Additionally, the storyboard serves as a valuable guide for plotting your film's locations. It prompts contemplation of the ideal settings that harmonise with your creative vision. This foresight can significantly streamline your search for suitable shooting venues, resulting in both time and cost savings down the road.

Additional reading: Four Places Where You Cannot Film Without a Permit in the Middle East

Define Production and Locations

There are a few pointers that should be on your radar:

  1. Partner with a production company capable of overseeing every aspect, from casting to post-production.
  2. Seek out film locations that align with your requirements while adhering to governmental stipulations.
  3. Secure essential permits and licences in advance, avoiding any filming hiccups.

While the process may appear formidable, rest assured, we're here to provide the guidance you need to elevate your projects.

In the realm of filmmaking, location holds paramount importance. The UAE offers a mesmerising array of settings, from enchanting deserts and majestic mountains to pristine beaches and cities adorned with timeless architecture. What's remarkable is the proximity of these diverse locales, facilitating seamless transitions between scenes.

Furthermore, the UAE boasts some of the globe's most opulent accommodations. Should you require a breather from filming, you'll find no shortage of luxurious havens to rejuvenate in.

Conduct diligent research, mapping out the kind of film you envision and the backdrop that perfectly complements it. While this endeavour might appear daunting, fret not; allow us to assist you in scouting the ideal locale, ensuring your next shoot is nothing short of extraordinary.

Get the Best Crew

Within the UAE, a team of talented individuals is prepped to orchestrate a seamless film production. Every essential component of filmmaking, from cutting-edge camera equipment and expert lighting to meticulous location scouting, is at your fingertips.

Embarking on the search for an ideal film crew may initially appear formidable, yet this pivotal phase holds the key to propelling your project towards excellence. As you navigate this process, several factors merit careful consideration:

  1. Experience and Accomplishments: Evaluate their track record of accomplishments and experience within the field. A proven history of success can pave the way for a successful collaboration.
  2. Availability and Adaptability: The crew's availability and adaptability are vital elements that contribute to a fluid and harmonious production process.
  3. Alignment with Your Vision: A crew's willingness to comprehend and accommodate your unique vision is pivotal. Their ability to ask insightful questions can fortify the foundation of your project.
  4. Budget Considerations: Crafting a cinematic masterpiece within budget parameters requires a crew capable of efficiently managing resources while delivering exceptional results.

By thoughtfully navigating these aspects, you'll secure a film crew poised to elevate your production to new heights within the captivating backdrop of the UAE.

How UAE Film Permit Gets You There

At UAEFilmPermit, we stand as your trusted navigators through the intricate maze of Dubai film permit process. As your dedicated allies, we streamline bureaucratic complexities and secure the necessary permits, ensuring a thriving journey for your UAE film endeavour.

Our mission revolves around supporting production companies like yours in acquiring the fundamental permits and clearances required for successful filming within the nation. Engage our user-friendly online platform, seamlessly following a three-step progression:

Witness your permit materialise within just five working days. Rest assured, we're readily available to guide you through inquiries and application procedures, extending our unwavering assistance.