10 Must-Know Location Production Tips for Shooting Videos in Dubai

17 May

2024

10 Must-Know Location Production Tips for Shooting Videos in Dubai

Dubai is a beautiful city enriched with rich culture and urban city life. Every corner of this city is a lovely story by itself. This city has everything you would love to capture, from the beautiful skyline and vast deserts to awe-inspiring man-made islands. It is truly a dream location for every artist.

If you are here reading this, then you must be considering Dubai for shooting your next project. So, read this article till the end to have a great filming experience in Dubai. 

Topics covered in the blog: 

10 Must-Know Location Production Tips for Shooting Videos in Dubai

  1. Obtain Permission
  2. Respect the Local Culture
  3. Capture the Local Culture
  4. Explore Shooting Locations Beyond Dubai 
  5. Capture Magnificent Architectures for Futuristic Visuals
  6. Schedule your Shoot Around October - March
  7. Respect Dress Codes
  8. Keep the Documents Handy for Custom Clearance
  9. Strictly Follow the Rules
  10. Learn Arabic Greetings

Obtain Permission

Whether you want to shoot a movie, documentary, corporate video, or TV show, you need to obtain a filming permit in Dubai since there are very strict regulations for filming in the city. The Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) oversees filming regulations here. The application process becomes significantly efficient when you collaborate with a UAE-based licensed media partner like UAEFilmPermit to obtain permission to film in Dubai. 

Respect the Local Culture

You need to understand the local culture of any country before you begin shooting. Islam is the national religion in Dubai. You must respect Islamic customs and practices in Dubai at all costs, like honouring the prayer times while filming in Dubai.

Furthermore, make sure you respect the privacy of the locals. While people in Dubai don't mind photographers or videographers moving around with cameras, they raise a concern when you invade their privacy. If you are shooting in public places or capturing raw footage, take consent from your filming subjects to avoid legal complications. Be mindful of the city’s privacy and cultural sensitivities, and you will have a great filming experience in Dubai.  

From the majestic architecture to the bustling souks, there's plenty to capture without intruding on the locals' personal space. Explore the top 10 locations to shoot in Dubai.

Capture the Local Culture

Dubai's rich traditions will help you add significant cultural nuances to your film. You can capture the local tourist hot spots and famous sights with new cinematic angles. To capture the local culture, visit the historic streets of Bur Dubai or the vibrant markets of Dubai Creek. You can find  local people sailing in small 'Abra' down the creek if you want to add that rich cultural essence to your film. Explore the place with local assistance to witness a beautiful blend of heritage and modernity this place has to offer, opening diverse cinematic opportunities for the filmmakers. 

Explore Shooting Locations Beyond Dubai

Whether you are here to shoot a film, an ad, or a TV show, don't limit yourself to Dubai. An hour and a half drive south of Dubai would take you to the picturesque city of Abu Dhabi. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is one of the world's most opulent and impressive religious monuments here. 

Another city, Sharjah, is just a 30-minute drive north of Dubai. This location is very appealing for videography, especially if you are shooting a corporate video or anything related.

Capture Magnificent Architectures for Futuristic Visuals

If you plan to make a video with futuristic elements, like Star Trek Beyond or Mission Impossible, then Dubai is the perfect filming location. Its beautiful skyscrapers and modern landmarks appeal to the futuristic setting fitting your film script. 

For example, the Burj Khalifa, one of the prominent landmarks of modern architecture in Dubai, has 163 floors that rise so high that the upper part of the building is covered with a dreamy fog all the time of the year. Other significant filming buildings include the Burj al Arab, the Infinity Tower, and the Princess Tower.

Also read: 10 Locations That Will Make You Want To Film In UAE

Schedule your Shoot Around October - March

Dubai's weather can be unforgiving, especially in the peak summers. Summers between June and August are humid with high temperatures. So, plan your shoots during the cooler seasons, from October to March, to avoid the heat and humidity.

You should also know that most places in the UAE have a desert climate, meaning, extreme heat during the day and an abrupt drop in temperature at night. Plan your schedule and be prepared accordingly. 

Ideally, schedule the shoot before or after Ramadan. Many services are closed during this holy month, which might make your shoot difficult. However, if need be, Team Studio52 will take care of everything you need for seamless the production during the festivities. However, if you intend to capture these festivities, keep an eye on local events and festivals that may offer unique filming opportunities and add a local touch to your film.

Respect the Dress Code

It is essential to dress modestly when filming in public places in Dubai. Opt for smart casual wear that does not reveal much skin. If you enter religious places, please follow the dressing rules. For instance, cover your head while shooting at mosques in Dubai and see that you are not interrupting anyone while filming. Remember, respect goes a long way in building rapport with the community.

Keep the Documents Handy for Custom Clearance

Navigating visa requirements and customs regulations can be daunting, especially when travelling with filming equipment. If you bring your equipment for the shoot, you will need a copy of filming permissions to show the customs department. 

You can avoid potential delays at customs clearance by partnering with UAEFilmPermit to streamline production. From providing you with state-of-the-art equipment and getting film permits to ensuring safety codes of conduct on set, everything will be our responsibility. 

Make video production seamless with FilmPermit. 

Strictly follow the rules

As we mentioned earlier, Dubai is very strict regarding filming rules and regulations. Depending on the degree of violation, the filmmakers might have to pay huge fines or even face imprisonment. Research all the regulations to ensure no legal violations by the crew. 

Learn Arabic Greetings

Even though the official language of Dubai is Arabic, you can communicate with locals in English. This is why communication is not a major barrier while filming in Dubai. However, it is recommended to learn a few key phrases in Arabic to build a good rapport with the locals for any shoot recommendations, for hiring local actors, etc.

For instance, you can say "As-salaam alaykum" to greet someone or "Shukran'' to thank them. A small gesture like that can help you connect with the locals in a much personal manner.

Conclusion

Filming in Dubai offers you a unique blend of cultural richness, architectural marvels, and breathtaking landscapes. These tips will help you to have a successful and seamless filming experience in the city. If you would like more information on filming in Dubai, you can go through our resources on film permits or just contact us! Remember, we are not just a company handling acquisition of film permits. We are your production partners. 

FAQs

  1. Can I shoot videos in Dubai?

Yes, you can shoot videos in Dubai unless you respect everyone's privacy. If it's a commercial production, you must get a film permit from the Dubai Film and TV Commission. 

  1. How do I get permission to film in Dubai?

You can obtain a film permit directly from DFTC. However, you can ensure that all your application bases are covered by partnering with a UAE-licensed production company like UAEFilmPermit for quicker approval and acquisition.

  1. Is video recording illegal in Dubai?

Yes, video recording without consent is illegal. There shouldn't be a problem if you have a permission for shooting in the public or private property in question.   

  1. Why can't you record without consent in Dubai?

Because recording without consent is illegal under the UAE Penal Code, articles 378 and 379, and the UAE Cybercrime Law article 21. However, you can record in Dubai if you have a film permit issued by DFTC.