Dubai is, undoubtedly, a dream destination for moviemakers from across the world. From Bollywood to Hollywood, Dubai’s iconic features have set the perfect backdrop for many a story.
Tom Cruise represented the Hollywood team, with his heroic stunt, scaling the Burj Khalifa for ‘Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol’, while action star Jackie Chan twisted a lot more than just muscles in ‘Kung Fu Yoga’, which wrapped up its Dubai schedule in 2015.
While Shah Rukh Khan pitched his comic dance drama at the majestic Atlantis for ‘Happy New Year’, his celeb pal Salman Khan slipped a dance sequence with his ladylove in ‘Dabangg’. More recently, we have the Kapoors – Arjun and Kareena – give romance a Balki flavor in ‘Ki and Ka’.
Dubai also featured in many South Indian movies, with Malayalam’s ‘Diamond Necklace’, ‘Madhuranaranga’ and ‘Orru Arabikatha’ among the more celebrated ones. Even, Pakistani movies ‘Pehla Pehla Pyar’ and ‘Pyar Hi Pyar Mein’ benefited from the Dubai setting in their narrative.
“Having worked on a number of Indian movies, both Bollywood and South Indian, I feel Dubai is the perfect destination for moviemakers,” said Mini Sarma, line producer of ‘Happy New Year’.
“From the logistics to infrastructure, to securing permission to shoot, the entire process is easy. The iconic structures and landscapes are a filmmaker's dream. Even, the proximity to India is an added advantage.”
She believes that His Highness Sheikh Mohammed’s vision is crucial for turning Dubai into a film hub. “He is personally involved with whatever developments and progress unfolds in every industry. It's true for the film industry as well. As our ruler, we wish him success. Let Dubai grow under his able guidance.”
Shefali Munshi, Founder & MD Unimonde Experiences adds, “The ruler’s vision has made Dubai what it is today - ‘the centre of now,’ the big apple of the Middle East – which is cosmopolitan and forward with culture and tradition still upheld alongside.”
Dubai, she agrees, is a great filming location for film production. “Dubai has successfully gained a large share of film production across all genres from Bollywood to Hollywood, everyone wants to shoot in Dubai with the excellent rebates offered. Right from line production services to excellent locales and flexibility for shoots have attracted international filmmakers to invest in setting up production houses. Many film endorsements and events take place locally owing to the large Asian population along with the locals appreciative of receiving high class entertainment.”