Bollywood in Abu Dhabi (UAE) – Attractive, Green & Distinctly Arab City
Several Bollywood films like Race 3, Tiger Zinda Hai, Dishoom, Baby and Bang Bang have been shot in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of UAE.
When it comes to shooting films in the UAE, filmmakers have always preferred the stylish and swankier Dubai over cultural Abu Dhabi. However, production houses are now keen to explore Abu Dhabi as well, and this place is fast emerging as the “new big thing” in Middle Eastern film locations.
In recent times, the emirate has managed to attract several big ticket Hollywood productions, thanks to the efforts of the Abu Dhabi Film Commission.
— Tom Cruise (@TomCruise) March 27, 2018
While Maryam Eid AlMheiri, CEO of Abu Dhabi’s Media Zone Authority, is happy that Hollywood films are being shot in Abu Dhabi, he believes one film, or one scene from a film, does not make an industry. “If we want to build a sustainable economy around film production … it’s not about one movie a year.”
That is why AlMheiri calls the 65-day shoot of 2017 Bollywood hit “Tiger Zinda Hai” (starring Indian superstar Salman Khan) as a turning point. Now, Abu Dhabi is becoming a prime destination to shoot Bollywood blockbusters (its 30% rebate on production spending and other perks also helps in getting them to Abu Dhabi).
What Makes Abu Dhabi Attractive?
The country has fine weather, is safe, has several exotic monuments, offers Middle Eastern scenery; Film makers can use the seascape, desert and ultra-modern urban setting of Abu Dhabi.
Abu Dhabi is becoming a favorite with Bollywood filmmakers. “Abu Dhabi gives the feeling of having the most beautiful aspects of the Middle East — you’ve got sand, blue skies, the coast and many other requirements that make a good film. You have people who are coming here because they just see it as a great place to make movies, ” says Sajid Nadiadwala.
Abu Dhabi is not just a good place for shooting films, its also well equipped to provide world-class production and post-production services and facilities. Besides, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission ensures that filming permissions for shooting in Abu Dhabi are obtained without any hassles. It also offers international productions a flat 30% rebate on production expenses.
With the Louvre (huge museum) coming in and an interesting movie festival every October that attracts an array of international talent, this place is doing everything it can to attract productions.
Meanwhile, AlMheiri is keen to capitalize on the new-found fascination for Abu Dhabi. Plans are under way to build a twofour54 Studio City complex in the city’s Mina Zayed waterfront area.
Bollywood Movies Shot in Abu Dhabi
Dishoom in Abu Dhabi
The fight sequence for the movie Dishoom (John Abraham, Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez, Akshaye Khanna) was filmed a small speedboat, with the Abu Dhabi Corniche skyline in the background. The Corniche (or Corniche Road) is a popular attraction in Abu Dhabi, it forms a sweeping curve on the western side of the main Abu Dhabi island and is full of cycle paths, fountains and park areas.
The boats were provided by Abu Dhabi boat-tour operators Xventures, who ferried the cast and crew on and off Abu Dhabi’s luxurious Nurai Island, for scenes that were shot there.
Some scenes of the movie were also filmed at at Emirates Palace Marina.
Dam 99 (2011), Dil Vil Pyar Vyar (2002) are some of the Bollywood films that have been shot in Abu Dhabi. Many more South Indian films have already been shot here.
Recently, Bollywood Film ‘Bang Bang’ (starring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif) completed its Abu Dhabi shoot (Corniche, Liwa oasis, Hyatt Capital Gate Hotel, Qasr al Sarab, Emirates Palace and Yas Island). The movie is slated for release towards the end of the year. Bang Bang did avail the 30 percent production rebate (offered in the emirate) and also used the production services of local film and television service provider.
Director Priyadarshan will also be shooting his next film in Abu Dhabi. The movie called ‘The Arabian, the Camel and Madhavan Nair,’ will star actors Mohanlal, Laxmi Rai and Bhavana.
Akshay Kumar also intends to shoot partly in Abu Dhabi for his upcoming film ‘Baby’.
More About Abu Dhabi
Among the richest cities in the world, Abu Dhabi (and not Dubai) is the capital city of UAE. Abu Dhabi is divided broadly in to two areas – the Mainland and the Island.
Top attractions in Abu Dhabi:
- Abu Dhabi Corniche
- Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital
- Al Ain Camel Market
- Al Ain Oasis
- Al Ain Zoo
- Arabian Nights Village
- Arabian Wildlife Park
- Emirates Palace
- Ferrari World Abu Dhabi
- Hili Fun City
- Jabel Hafeet
- Qasr Al Sarab
- Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
- Yas Viceroy
- Yas Waterworld