Film: get your ticket to the fastest growing film market

  • Film and Entertainment spend in the MENA is expected to reach $1.45 billion by 2019. The UAE has a relatively large Film and Entertainment industry for the region, expected to reach $141.9 million by 2019
  • The box office grew by 13% in the Arab world but dropped by 4.9% across the world in 2011.
  • Filmmakers looking to source crews, equipment and production services locally where feasible are eligible to receive a 30% cash rebate for shooting movies and television in Abu Dhabi which is the first and only rebate scheme in the region.
  • Advertising spend in the UAE was $742.4 million in 2010. Out-of-home media, including the cinema, made up the one of largest shares, at $87.7 million or about 13%.
  • Here are just some of the big blockbuster movies filmed in Abu Dhabi: Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fast & Furious 7, Bang Bang, Deliver us from Evil, Bourne Legacy, Sea Shadow, The Kingdom and Syriana.

Movies continue to be a huge draw for Arab audiences, with box office growth of 13% year on year compared to the average global drop of 4.9%. This trend is set to continue as more and more cinema theatres open throughout the region.

In partnership with the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, Abu Dhabi is being promoted as a shooting location for film and television. Filmmakers looking to source crews, equipment and production services locally where feasible are eligible to receive a 30% cash rebate for shooting movies and television in Abu Dhabi, an incentive which is highly competitive when considering that Abu Dhabi is also a tax-free jurisdiction.

Examples of Hollywood feature films that have been shot in Abu Dhabi include “Deliver us from Evil”, “The Kingdom”, “The Bourne Legacy”, “Syriana” and, more recently, “Fast & Furious 7”. Abu Dhabi can provide settings beyond just desert landscapes, ranging from futuristic looking megacities for science fiction films to grittier locations that can double for places in Iraq and Afghanistan. A key feature that should appeal to international film productions, in addition to a near guarantee of blue skies year round, is the 30% cash rebate.

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