With its stunning desert landscape, dazzling beaches and mind-boggling architecture, Abu Dhabi is a preferred choice for filmmakers.
Abu Dhabi is the capital and second-largest city in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). It lies on a T-shaped island jutting into the Persian Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula. Located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and the Middle East, Abu Dhabi is an exciting, vibrant, multi-cultural city and a truly international capital – a great place to work and play.
Film and TV production professionals know that Abu Dhabi is a production-ready place with generous financial incentives, location diversity, production resources and professional support to make any size production a success. Famous for its unique, cutting-edge modern architecture, the country’s wealth and rapid pace of growth ensure that visiting productions can expect to always find new locations to film.
Year-round sunshine, pristine beaches, spectacular sand dunes and pulsating cosmopolitan lifestyle is what is in store when filming in Abu Dhabi. These, combined with distinctive Arabian hospitality, mystique and world-class infrastructure make Abu Dhabi an enchanting destination for experienced and novice film production companies.
This island capital is characterised by its signature Corniche, which fronts the amazing turquoise waters of the Arabian Gulf. Most of Abu Dhabi is located on the island itself, but it has many suburbs on the mainland – Khalifa City, Al Raha Beach, Al Bahia City, Al Shahama, Al Rahba, Between Two Bridges, Baniyas and Mussafah Residential.
One of the most important architectural landmarks in Abu Dhabi is the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This masterpiece is arguably one of the most important architectural treasures of contemporary UAE society and one of the most beautiful in the world.
The city’s museums have some of the world’s most impressive modern architecture. Other structures of note include Emirates Palace Hotel, Ferrari World Abu Dhabi, Al Dar HQ, and Capital Gate Building. Yas Marina Circuit is home to the F1 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. Abu Dhabi’s islands also offer beautiful aerial shots.
Abu Dhabi has a hot and arid climate. Sunny blue skies can be expected throughout the year. The months of June through September are generally hot and humid with maximum temperatures averaging above 35 °C. During this time, sandstorms also occur intermittently, in some cases reducing visibility to a few metres.
The weather is cooler from November to March. This period also sees dense fog on some days. However, the dry desert air and cooler evenings make it a traditional retreat from the intense summer heat and year-round humidity of the capital city.
Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) is part of the Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi. It was launched in 2009 and has a mandate to support the development of Abu Dhabi’s growing film and TV industry and promote the Emirate as a production and filming location.
The ADFC offers the Middle East’s first production incentive, providing access to a generous 30-per cent cash-back rebate on productions, including feature films, television series, commercials, other television formats such as documentaries and telemovies shot in Abu Dhabi, and post-production, digital content services, visual effects services for projects shot inside or outside Abu Dhabi.
Other than the cash rebate, the film commission also offers:
Free scouting assistance
A diverse range of unique locations including stunning coastline with year-round blue skies, wild desert, amazing oasis, iconic architecture
Award-winning, experienced, professional crew and supplier bases
A full services offering for government servicing, permits, visas, script approval, and customs clearance and shooting permits
First class studios and post-production facilities at competitive rates
No sales tax
Superb accommodations and restaurants that will make you feel at home
Year-round sunshine and blue sky
Film-friendly, cooperative and welcoming communities
ADFC provides all the filming permits and locations support, facilitating negotiations between government agencies and the police for filming in different locations in Abu Dhabi City, Al Ain and the Western Region.