Bollywood’s Fascination for Dubai Continues

Bollywood’s fascination for Dubai continues with several films getting shot in Dubai, and Bollywood celebs continuing to holiday (and party) in Dubai.

Dubai is not only an important financial center and Middle East’s leading production hub, it also is home to several advertising agencies and studios. Dubai has the Dubai Media City (DMC), a tax-free zone, that houses thousands of companies (mostly headquarters) in sectors such as news, publishing, online media, advertising, production, and broadcast. The DMC now also includes the Dubai Studio City (DSC), a huge area comprising of pre-built studios, sound stages, warehouses, workshops, office spaces, satellite communications and more. With such a comprehensive infrastructure for producers, and a wealth of local production talent that filmmakers can use, more and more filmmakers are heading to Dubai to shoot films.


Selfie of a lifetime? Akshay Kumar takes a selfie with Salma Hayek after the ‘TeachersMatter’ event in Dubai (for honouring all the Teachers around the World)

A photo posted by Akshay Kumar (@akshaykumar) on


Watch: Dubai Studio City (DSC), Continuous to Grow

Dubai offers luxurious hotels, rugged mountains and deserts, and has excellent transport links. Its also well connected with other cuntries like Lebanon and Qatar (these countries also have some great locations, inc ase you wish to split the filming across countries). In recent times, Dubai has been facing competition from Abu Dhabi (attracting more filmmakers to shoot) and that’s because Abu Dhabi has been quite aggressive with their incentives, whether Dubai follows suit needs to be seen.

Besides home to great filming locations, Dubai also hosts several glamorous private parties (in areas around Burj Khalifa and The Palm Islands), which is usually attended by several Bollywood celebs. Many prefer to party in Dubai, as it gives them some privacy, and most of the places don’t have any time restrictions (as Mumbai does). Its also safer to get out on the streets, especially in the days leading to the New year.


SRK in Dubai, holidaying with friends (Sanjay Kapoor & Family)

A photo posted by Shah Rukh Khan (@srknews) on



Shahrukh Khan with Afghan singer Ghazal Sadat in Dubai


Also Read: Films shot in UAE.

Why Does Bollywood Always Show Dubai in a Bad Light?

No doubt Dubai is a global city and home to the wealthiest (it loves to flaunt its wealth too), but as far as Bollywood is concerned, all the wealth is ill-gotten. Well, at least that’s what they depict in their movies, although in a a light-hearted manner (Welcome & Welcome Back).


Why is Dubai Shown in a Bad Light in Bollywood?

The teaser of Bollywood movie “Heroine” (starring Kareena Kapoor) had not gone down well with Dubaites, when it was released. The controversial dialogue from the movie infuriated many Dubai residents. Directed by National award winner Madhur Bandharkar, the movie had a dialogue by Kareena Kapoor that supposedly degrades the city. The scene is around a a press conference, where actress Kareena Kapoor is reprimanding journalists. The dialogue goes as…

“You people should be writing scripts. If a heroine buys a car, it’s gifted to her by a businessman, if she goes to LA, she’s getting plastic surgery done and, God forbid, if she goes to Dubai, you people make a rate card for her,”.

And this had not gone down well with Dubai residents.



So why is it that Dubai is always shown in a bad light, in spite of the fact that it is considered to be a top destination for doing business, when several corporate giants and big investors are betting big on Dubai?

When it comes to doing business, Dubai is seen as a leading regional commercial hub that offers state-of-the art infrastructure and a world-class business environment. A majority of big companies find it to be the logical place to do business in the Middle East. Dubai is strategic located, offers tax-free living and seems to be the ideal base for companies targeting markets in and around the Middle East.

But when it comes to Bollywood, expect the bad guy to be from Dubai, or all illegal activities to originate from Dubai. Is it because, at one point of time, the D-Gang allegedly carried out its activities from there? What do you guys think?

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