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Message from Chairman
Latest Dubai Film Industry News
News From on Set
Spotlight on Director General of DTCM
Coming Soon
Spotlight on Locations
Message from Chairman
WELCOME - On behalf of Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC), I am happy to share with you our first online newsletter, through which we aim to keep you apprised of all the developments surrounding the filming industry in Dubai.

Since the official launch of the commission last year during Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF), we have been working actively with you to bring productions to life, whether it’s helping secure the best locations, constructing the most technologically advanced sound stages, providing unique incentives or easing permit processes.

This year we’ve already seen nearly 400 productions filmed in Dubai across a variety of genres including a Ramadan TV series with the region’s biggest stars, a number of Bollywood feature films, and countless commercials. Our vision for 2013 is to continue providing you with more location options, an automated permit process, a growing Dubai-based talent pool and even more incentives.

We also recently exhibited at the world renowned Cannes Film Festival 2013, joining forces with DIFF, Dubai Studio City, Abu Dhabi Film Commission, Abu Dhabi Film Festival, twofour54 and Image Nation in the UAE Pavilion. Our participation gave international exposure to Emirati filmmakers and opportunities to discuss future film and artistic collaborations in Dubai, and we are very encouraged by the positive feedback we received there.

We have an exciting summer ahead, including the start of filming for Shahrukh Khan’s latest Bollywood movie ‘Happy New Year’, which will be shot entirely in Dubai, using iconic Dubai locations as the backdrop to its story.

Finally, please take a moment to visit our recently launched Facebook and Twitter pages where you will find up to date film news, videos and images from DFTC and Dubai.

We hope you enjoy this first newsletter, and look forward to our continued partnership in the coming months.

Jamal Al Sharif, Chairman
Spotlight on Director General of Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
We recently spoke with H.E. Helal Saeed Almarri, Director General of Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing (DTCM) on the role film production plays in the growth of Dubai’s tourist economy.

DTCM recently announced its Vision for Tourism – to welcome 20 million visitors a year by 2020. How will this be achieved?

Over the last ten to twenty years, the Emirate has developed a reputation as a major global tourism destination and has become a ‘must-visit’ city. In 2004 we welcomed 5 million visitors and in 2012 we welcomed 10 million. This tourism growth is rare, if unique and the industry is a major contributor to the Emirate’s economy. However, we see this as only the first steps on our journey and in May of this year His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai approved our vision for Tourism: by 2020 we will welcome 20 million visitors per year to the Emirate, and treble the industry’s contribution to Dubai’s economy.

This is clearly a substantial increase and it is an ambitious vision but it is achievable. There are two key areas we will focus on: firstly we will increase Dubai’s destination offering across events, attractions, infrastructure, services and packages, making it even more rewarding to visit our city; and secondly we will adapt our strategic approach to marketing to showcase Dubai to an even wider audience and to increase the conversion of awareness into flight and hotel bookings. A key factor will be the role which we at DTCM will play in harnessing the collective power of tourism stakeholders, strengthening our coordinated approach to attracting and hosting visitors. The Dubai Film and Television Commission is one such stakeholder as the appearance of Dubai in films and television shows is a significant contributor to the promotion of the city.

What role do you see the film and TV industry playing in this growth?

The film and TV industries have a significant impact on a destination’s external image and we are seeing an emergent global trend for tourists to make travel decisions as a result of exposure to locations featured in popular films or TV shows. For some destinations, exposure through film has contributed to a 40% increase in tourism, with governments citing that it has attracted one in ten visitors to their country. Examples include New Zealand following the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and Bali after Eat, Pray, Love was filmed there, and when you visit New York it feels like you are stepping onto a film set due to the huge number of productions filmed there.

Closer to home, when Mission Impossible 4 was filmed here, including the use of Burj Khalifa as a major centrepiece, it drew the world’s attention to Dubai. It is not just awareness that this attention creates – the economic impact is considerable: both in attracting visitors who may not otherwise have considered Dubai as a destination but also as a result of the spend of film crews on hospitality, entertainment, transportation and retail.

We therefore see great value in working closely with Dubai’s film and TV industries through the Dubai Film and TV Commission, to support them in their mission to target foreign and location productions of content that will maximize such film induced tourism, and we are currently working on a number of really interesting projects which will provide fantastic exposure to Dubai.

How do you think tourism growth can in turn benefit the film and TV industries in Dubai?

The tourism and film and TV industries have a mutually beneficial relationship. The burgeoning trend of film-induced tourism has already been seen to have a positive multiplier effect on Dubai’s economic growth; and higher economic growth means greater potential for the development of local talent and production services. International tourism gives Dubai’s locations greater exposure to an international audience, which has been seen to boost interest from international production companies and location scouts looking to use Dubai as the setting for their productions.
Latest Dubai Film Industry News
DFTC Industry Insider Sessions

This week saw the launch of our first ever DFTC Industry Insider session, a networking event for our partners, production companies and the media production industry to discuss the latest news and trends in the industry as well as find out about upcoming locations and projects. Guest speaker Waseem Khan, from the Burj Khalifa marketing team, was also on hand to answer questions and shine the spotlight on filming at the iconic location. We hope to see you at the next session, details of which will be coming soon!

Dubai Film Industry Out in Force at Cannes Film Festival

Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) exhibited for the first time at the Cannes Film Festival in May. In a complete representation of the Dubai film industry, DFTC joined Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF) and Dubai Studio City in the UAE Pavilion. As well as showcasing Dubai film industry’s full offerings at Cannes, DFTC was proud to sponsor Abdulla Al Kaabi, a young Emirati Director who won critical acclaim for his first award-winning short film - The Philosopher.

Read More - Watch Video Here

Charming China at the Shanghai International Film Festival

We returned from the Shanghai International Film Festival (SIFF) last week, where our Chairman Jamal al Sharif had a productive meeting with the festival organizing committee. They discussed the strong ongoing relationship between the Chinese and Emirati film industries, particularly in light of the latest blockbuster "Switch" which was shot partly in Dubai and premiered in China last week. China’s film industry is booming and we look forward to developing partnerships with more Chinese partners in the future.

Read More

The Emirates catches the attention of Drama Serial producers

Read more

14 films shot in Dubai since the beginning of the year

Read more
Coming Soon
Chinese blockbuster ‘Switch’

Stay tuned for more information on the premier of the latest Chinese action blockbuster “Switch - Dwelling of the Fuchun Mountains, the first Chinese movie mostly shot outside of China and partly in Dubai. The movie earned a whopping $32 million in just the first two days of its release in China – the box office reported.

Watch the trailer here.

Dubai Lynx 2013 – MENA Showcase

The online copy of the latest production insights from the Middle East published by Dubai Lynx – 2013 MENA Showcase, will be available on our website soon. Keep an eye out on our for the latest updates.
News From on Set: The Latest Film Projects in Dubai

Bollywood action film

The film: Bollywood action movie

The team: Sohail Khan, Director/Producer

The stars: Salman Khan and Tabu

Title: Mental

The plot: Jay, an Army Major, is suspended for not taking orders from his seniors, even though his actions saved the lives of his fellow soldiers. The film follows Jay’s life after the army as he continues to fight for justice, doing good deeds for others and encouraging those he helps to pass on the same principles.

Featured Dubai locations: Wonderland theme park, Dubai Creek

Number of shooting days in Dubai: 12

Malayalam romantic comedy

The film: Malayalam romantic comedy

The team: Siddique, Director/Producer

The stars: Mohanlal

The plot: A modern day love story set between Dubai and India that follows the fortunes of Chandrabose, a man who has lost his way following the loss of his wife. Family, friendship and business ties are tested as Chandrabose re-builds his fortunes and his happiness, with at times comical consequences. Title: Ladies and Gentleman

Featured Dubai locations: Dubai Media City, Dubai Miracle Garden, Marina Walk, Dubai Creek, Jumeirah Beach Residences and Al Ain car showroom.

Number of shooting days in Dubai: 10
Spotlight on Locations
Dubai Autodrome
Located in Dubai Motor City, this FIA-sanctioned (Federation Internationale de l'Automobile), 5.93km Dubai Autodrome circuit is one of the most modern in the world, combining high-speed straights and technical corners. The Autodrome is now part of DFTC’s fee structure, offering negotiated rates for production companies interested to film.
Dubai International Marine Club
Set on a picturesque shoreline, the Dubai International Marine Club (DIMC) located at Mina Seyahi on Jumeriah Beach offers filmmakers the best of sand and sea. With marina access and skyline views of skyscrapers and beaches, this versatile location has been a hit with some of Bollywood’s biggest films.
Dubai Miracle Garden
Dubai’s newest park is an outdoor film location unlike any other. Dubai Miracle Garden is a fantastical display of ornamental flowers planted in unusual and imaginative forms, from archways with calendula and petunia suspended overhead, to real cars planted with flowers and grass. The location captured the imagination of the production team shooting the Malayalam film ‘Ladies and Gentlemen’ last month, used Dubai Miracle Garden as the backdrop to a number of romantic scenes featuring Mohanlal.
The Dubai Film and TV Commission Team
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