'Mission: Impossible IV' could be shot in Dubai

'Mission: Impossible IV' stars Tom Cruise and is set for a December 2011 release (FILE)

Executives from Paramount Pictures are in Dubai to discuss filming part of Mission: Impossible IV in the emirate, according to a newspaper report.

Senior industry executives confirmed the visit of several Paramount employees, who came to Dubai to discuss potential locations for shooting the upcoming film, which stars Tom Cruise.

The National newspaper quoted an anonymous source as saying that Paramount was considering filming parts of the movie in the UAE, adding that “all these franchise films are multi-country”. Paramount Pictures declined to comment.

However, the report said Ziad Batal, the executive producer at All 4 Media, a film and TV production company based in the UAE, confirmed Paramount Pictures executives were in the UAE to discuss “Mission: Impossible IV”.

“I’ve heard they are in town and are scouting [for locations]. They are in serious discussions with [Dubai] Studio City,” he said.

Jamal al Sharif, the executive director of Dubai Studio City, declined to give further details regarding “Mission: Impossible IV”. “I have heard some rumours. There’s not much more I can say about it,” Al Sharif said.

Only a handful of big-budget films have been made in the UAE, the most notable being the Hollywood movies “Syriana” and “The Kingdom”.

Negotiations to shoot other films in the country, including “Sex and the City 2”, “Body of Lies” and “The A-Team”, have been unsuccessful due to financing or cultural sensitivity issues.

Batal said other reasons previous negotiations to film Hollywood features in the UAE had stumbled were due to the lack of government subsidies and incentives for movie producers, which are common in many other film production markets. “We come from a culture of tax incentives and tax breaks,” he said. “Unfortunately we don’t have that here. That’s the only way we can attract the big boys to come out here.”

The “Mission: Impossible” franchise has grossed more than $1.4 billion (Dh5.14bn) globally, according to Paramount Pictures. The fourth instalment is set for a December 2011 release.

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