Written by Tom Deehan on Apr 25, 2016. Posted in Incentive News

Abu Dhabi film incentive to be streamlined under new initiative

In an effort to simplify the process of applying for and receiving the Abu Dhabi filming incentive, the programme will now be run solely by the Media Zone Authority company, Image Nation Abu Dhabi. Operation of the incentive was previously split between Image Nation and the SANAD Film Fund.

This change in management follows a pledge made by Image Nation in 2015 to invest AED400 million into Abu Dhabi’s film and television industry over a five year period, having already spent AED30 million in 2014 alone.

CEO of the Media Zone Authority, Noura Al Kaabi explains: “over the last few years we have built a strong foundation for a self-sustaining film and television industry. It is now the right time to deepen our commitment and further develop programmes to take the local industry to the next level. We attracted several major international and regional productions to shoot in the Emirate over the past two years alone, which brought large-scale investment, further built the film industry infrastructure in the region and created significant opportunities for local talent. These projects include Universal Pictures’ Fast and Furious 7 (pictured above) and Disney’s Star Wars: Episode VII, as well as regional productions Al Ikhwa, Iftah Ya SimSim and ET Bil Arabi.”

Chairman of Image Nation Abu Dhabi, Mohamed Al Mubarak adds: “now that Image Nation Abu Dhabi has become part of the Media Zone Authority, our efforts towards building the media sector can be more coordinated and effective. Image Nation’s combination of Hollywood film relationships and its local talent and production knowledge is uniquely valuable to this new phase of our industry.”

Abu Dhabi’s film incentive offers a 30% cash rebate to feature films, television shows and commercials, with varying levels of required minimum spend. The maximum amount to be paid by the rebate stands at USD5 million for films and the lowest at USD500,000 for commercials.

Work recently began on installing Abu Dhabi’s first backlot as part of a collaboration between twofour54, O3 Productions and Abu Dhabi Ports to expand the capital’s studio facilities and offer a safer alternative to filming on location.


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