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Filming in United Arab Emirates

The United Arab Emirates has made a name for itself in Hollywood. After using Abu Dhabi as an alien planet in the highly successful Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Dubai was featured the following year in Star Trek: Beyond.

Star Wars was attracted to Abu Dhabi by its 30% cash rebate programme. The incentive, extends to commercials, as well as feature films and television shows.

The UAE is also very popular among Indian producers, given the easy travel time between the two countries. Bollywood movie Dishoom is among the latest high-profile productions to confirm
an Abu Dhabi shoot.

Abu Dhabi is steadily building its international appeal with a 30% filming incentive and exotic visuals. Fast & Furious 7 filmed a central action sequence in the city and Star Wars: The Force Awakens also shot extensively in the area.

Dubai still prefers to offer tailored support packages and authorities have spent the past year streamlining local services and permitting processes. The lack of a formal filming incentive programme has hindered the city’s ability to appeal internationally.

The UAE’s main studio facilities are in Dubai, with three sound stages on offer at Dubai Studio City.

The locations in Abu Dhabi are amazing. It adds a lot of production value to the film and makes it really exotic. We want to strike a balance with both the opulence in this part of the world as well as what is more traditional and cultural just to get a bit of that flavour into the film. It’s a bit different to what the Fast and Furious fans have seen before so there is a natural evolution in the series.

James Wan, Director of Fast and Furious 7


A sub-tropical, arid climate dominates in the United Arab Emirates. Summers tend to be hot and humid, while temperatures and humidity dissipate only slightly in the winter.

Temperatures in Sharjah, in the north-east, normally peak at about 40C in the summer months and in the winter they can fall to 12C.

The region gets very little rainfall and this mostly falls in brief showers during February and March, although coastal areas can have short showers during the summer.

Thunderstorms can strike during the summer and sandstorms are also an occasional threat, which have a dramatic impact on visibility.

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