Abu Dhabi is at the top of global production scene in 2015

18 Jan 2016

The UAE capital Abu Dhabi has become the focus of attention for Arab and foreign producers in 2015, as a result of twofour54’s television and film production services as well as the Abu Dhabi Film Commission’s 30 per cent cash-back rebate on all production spend in the Emirate.

twofour54 provides a comprehensive infrastructure that combines high-end services. twofour54 ‘Film and TV Services’ offers the finest HD studios, production and post-production services, as well as unique one-stop-shop play-out and broadcast centres that diligently work towards gaining more international interest and we look forward to welcoming local, regional, and international producers to Abu Dhabi.

From Brad Pitt’s new film War Machine to the Star Wars: The Force Awakens Middle East premiere, 2015 was packed with high-profile media and entertainment projects that were facilitated by twofour54.

Brad Pitt’s War Machine

Brad Pitt’s latest production War Machine wrapped in the UAE after 22 days of filming across 20 different locations facilitated by twofour54.

The satirical comedy, produced by the world’s leading internet television, Netflix and Pitt’s production company, Plan B Entertainment, is inspired by the bestselling book The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan by the late American journalist Michael Hastings.

Iftah Ya Simsim

The Arabic version of Sesame Street, Iftah Ya Simsim was reintroduced in 2015 after a 25 year hiatus to the delight of families across the GCC. The production of the children’s favorite was led by Bidaya Media, a Mubadala sponsored company and twofour54 campus partner.

The first season of Iftah Ya Simsim included 28 episodes filmed in twofour54’s studios with more than 28 new and original songs, 28 live action segments, and 28 new animated stories along with the widely admired Muppets in their Iftah Ya Simsim neighbourhood.

Bidaya provided technical, educational and creative oversight for the programme, working closely with Sesame Street in the US to ensure the international standards for the international brand were met, and also liaising closely with ADEC to ensure scripts were in line with educational objectives. Blink Studios, another twofour54 partner, produced the studio segments of the show, and led the post production working with a team from twofour54. Lamsa World, an Arabic digital specialist and twofour54 campus partner, has taken Iftah Ya Simsim beyond the television screen, creating the show’s learning materials in formats for children to easily consume such as games, apps and e-books.

Gran Tourismo Academy

The international award-winning Gran Tourismo (GT) Academy television show held its week-long race camp in Abu Dhabi in October 2015. The reality show was filmed at various locations in Abu Dhabi including Yas Marina Circuit, Qsar Al Sarab, Nation Towers and Yas Waterworld.

twofour54 provided on-the-ground support and production services to GT Academy, while  Abu Dhabi Film Commission facilitated its 30 percent rebate which applied to the production for its time in Abu Dhabi.

Created in 2008 by Nissan Europe, in collaboration with Sony Computer Entertainment Europe and Polyphony Digital Inc., GT Academy’s competition has grown in popularity all over the world.

The Today Show with Al Rocker

The Today Show, one of America’s leading daily breakfast TV shows, broadcast live from Abu Dhabi in August 2015. twofour54 provided all production services for the live broadcasts which featured well-known TV anchor and weatherman Al Roker.

The World Keeps Spinning

Trey Smith, the disc-spinning son of actor Will Smith, was in the UAE to film for 10 days in Abu Dhabi and five days in Dubai in November 2015 for his reality show, The World Keeps Spinning.

The filming schedule for The World Keeps Spinning in both Abu Dhabi and Dubai was coordinated by twofour54 across many locations including: Abu Dhabi International Airport, Heritage Village, Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Ferrari World, Jumeirah Etihad Towers and Yas Marina Circuit and different locations in Dubai.

International productions

Fast and Furious 7

In April 2015, twofour54 hosted the first screening in the MENA region of Hollywood blockbuster Fast and Furious 7, ahead of the film’s general release in the Middle East.

The VIP event, timed to coincide with the film’s world premiere in Los Angeles, was held at VOX Cinemas at Yas Mall in Abu Dhabi and attended by local crew and staff who worked on the movie while it was in production in Abu Dhabi, as well as twofour54 project partners including Etihad Airways, Etihad Towers, Emirates Palace, and the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority.

The film was the biggest April opening in Hollywood history and globally took $384 million at the box office to make it the fourth-biggest worldwide film of all-time.

Star Wars

With assistance from twofour54 and the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, filming for Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place in the Emirate in May 2014 with over 650 crew working across two locations. In the film, Abu Dhabi plays Jakku, a frontier desert planet.

To celebrate Abu Dhabi’s role in the production, Star Wars: The Force Awakens had its second worldwide premiere in the Emirate in December 2015. The event was brought to the UAE capital by twofour54 in partnership with Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority. Held at Emirates Palace, the Middle East premiere was an invitation-only red carpet event where guests mingled with Stormtroopers from the UAE, UK and German garrisons of 501st Legion. The screening of the film was then followed by a world exclusive immersion experience of the film’s creatures, props and set pieces.

The film has smashed numerous box office records to become the third biggest movie of all time. It is the fastest film to reach the $1 billion mark at the global box office, doing so in just 12 days.

Partnerships and commercial deals

In November last year, twofour54 and O3 Productions inked a three year deal that adds an additional 300 production days a year for Abu Dhabi and will see more Arabic dramas being made in the UAE’s Capital destined to broadcast on MBC channels.

Under the agreement O3 will undertake pre-production, production and post-production in the Emirate and utilise twofour54’s government and travel services. In a further sign of O3’s relationship with twofour54, O3 will also establish a base at Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 campus.

twofour54 and Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management (ADMM) also signed a memorandum of understanding aimed at aiding the promotion of motorsports in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi to a worldwide audience. This agreement prepares the ground for twofour54 to provide a range of services to Abu Dhabi Motorsports Management including production, post-production and training services, travel, visa facilitation and government services.

Back to news press listing