Morocco, Arab World’s Favored Filming Destination

Hollywood Studios & filmmakers flock to Morocco, the Arab World’s most favored filming destination.

In the past, several Hollywood classic films have been shot in in the Middle East and the region still continues to fascinate filmmakers as well as the audience.

However, with most of the Middle East not conducive to filming (due to tensions), filmmakers have been looking for a safe haven which would provide them with the exotic locations, minus the risks.

And that is what Morocco has been able to provide to filmmakers around the world. No wonder, Morocco has become the Arab world’s most favored filming destination.

“Morocco has a long and successful history of filming, and it’s among the most moderate and liberate place in the Arab world, which is essential for creative and on-camera people to feel comfortable while filming at any location.

Some of the biggest productions that have been shot in Morocco include Lawrence of Arabia, Gladiator, The Mummy Returns, Hidalgo, Kundun and Prince of Persia.

In recent times…Brad Anderson’s “High Wire Act”, Alexandre Moors’s “The Yellow Birds”, Per Fly’s “Backstabbing For Beginners”, Jason Hall’s “Thank You for Your Services”, as well as the trailers for “The Mummy” and “Allied,” and episodes of “Prison Break,” “The Missing,” “Viking” and “Homeland.”

Also Read: Expert location managers tells us why Morocco is among the world’s most sought after filming locations.

All the turmoils in the world ironically brought Morocco several projects. Marrakech, Casablanca & Tangier have seen lot of action in recent times.

The economic impact of these shoots have been highly significant for Morocco. It generates good revenue and also creates job opportunities.

To fully exploit the potential of the region, Morocco government will soon be providing tax incentives to foreign film productions.

“Without an incentive these guys won’t look at any locations and that why Morocco has been getting a lot of pieces of the pie and it’s missed out on the big pie,” Government spokesman.

Although the country is mulling offering tax breaks, even without the rebate, Morocco remains an attractive destination for various reasons:

  • Morocco is only a 6 hour flight from New York
  • Foreign crews are exempt from paying VAT (applies to materials and filming services used)
  • Productions have access to a diversity of locales (mountains, desert and the Atlantic seaside) that can be reached fairly quickly
  • Highly skilled local crews who’re willing to work long hours and are fairly cheap.

Also Read: Bollywood films shot in Morocco

“We were just having lunch on a rooftop in the Medina and we were saying that the view from the mountains to the roofs to the shops would cost us $5 million to recreate it and here you just have to point the camera — That’s very valuable to filmmakers,” Mark Binke, NBCUniversal’s exec VP of production, during Marrakech International Film Festival.