Majed Al Suwaidi
Managing Director, Dubai Studio City & Dubai Media City
Jamal Al-Sharif
CEO, Dubai Film & TV Commission
Hans Fraikin
Abu Dhabi Film Commissioner
Since Dubai does not offer a production incentive scheme–although it gives discretionary support on flights and hotels—Abu Dhabi has now taken over as the UAE’s go-to location for Hollywood and Asian productions, a status likely to be reinforced when the sprawling Yas Creative Hub is fully open for business as a purpose-built gaming and entertainment nexus. Abu Dhabi not only boasts sizeable production facilities of its own but a 30% cash rebate on production spend that has helped lure in huge productions such as sci-fi extravaganza DUNE that used the Liwa Desert (and Jordan’s Wadi Rum) to recreate Arrakis. Abu Dhabi was one of the few filmmaking jurisdictions in the world that managed to maintain production throughout the pandemic, ushering in more than $100 million worth of productions in 2020 alone with the shooting of films such as INHERITANCE and MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE 7.