Written by on Jun 11, 2014. Posted in On Location

New Los Angeles-Abu Dhabi direct flight could boost location filming in UAE

A new direct flight route launched by Etihad between Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi could help boost filming in the United Arab Emirates. The UAE hopes the ease of travel will encourage more US producers to make the journey from LA and film on location in Abu Dhabi.

“Movies came to Abu Dhabi before inaugurating the Etihad flight to LA and that’s due to us announcing the rebate scheme,” twofour54 Chief Executive Noura Al Kaabi told the National.

“The majority of the studio producers from New York to London come all the way to Abu Dhabi [before the new service], but right now I think it will drive a lot of business back to Abu Dhabi.

“It’s really important for us to have such flights. It’s how we utilise our Emirati airline to support us in what we are doing.”

Al Kaabi added that Abu Dhabi’s Media Zone Authority is in ongoing discussions with major US studios including Universal, Fox and Disney, about shoots that could potentially be brought to Abu Dhabi. Indeed, Disney – through its subsidiary Lucasfilm – recently chose Abu Dhabi to film scenes for Star Wars: Episode VII. Sets built for the movie are likely to be preserved in a museum setting to help boost film tourism in the region.

Abu Dhabi offers a 30% filming incentive on local production expenditure, which was part of the attraction for Lucasfilm.

“We were very excited to start the filming of Star Wars: Episode VII in Abu Dhabi – it has been an incredible place to commence this journey,” said Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy when the UAE shoot was first announced.


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