HUB FOCUS: Recent film trends in the UAE

Our global Media, Sport & Entertainment Hub provides insights into various legal and commercial issues impacting on this space.

As part of our “HUB FOCUS” series, we provide an extract, focussing on recent trends in the film industry in the UAE.

“The UAE government is investing in establishing the UAE as a regional hub for media content and developing locally Emirati films and filmmakers. This is pioneered by a number of entities including ImageNation, a film finance company which has a fund that is estimated to exceed US$1 billion. Image Nation was launched in Abu Dhabi in 2008 as a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Media Company (“ADM”).

In addition to the existing 30% rebate available for film production, Abu Dhabi are also considering the introduction of a Louisiana-style infrastructure tax rebate in the region.[1] The commissions existing incentive has already lured a number of high-profile Hollywood productions such as Fast & Furious 7 and the latest entry into the Star Wars series, and is it hoped that the additional measures will help to draw further studio producers to the region.

Further, on the 17th of December 2014, Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai issued resolution number No 50 for 2014 (the “Resolution”) regarding the Dubai Film and TV Commission (“DFTC”).

The DFTC was established by Resolution No 16 of 2012 with the stated aim ‘to help local and international producers get their projects successfully made in Dubai and in doing so increase the number of film, TV, commercial, and corporate video productions that are shot and produced in Dubai.‘[2]

Historically, while the DFTC has not offered a formal incentive scheme the DTFC has stated its openness to discussing financial incentives, including special arrangements with key industry partners, licensing and fee rebates and negotiations with service providers, to production companies looking to work in Dubai.[3]

The Resolution is now in force and has redefined the objectives of the DFTC, including a desire and strategy to increase both home-grown productions, as well as attracting international TV and film productions. Part of this strategy shall include a formal incentive scheme.”

The Resolution also sets as a general objective for the DTFC, the promotion of Dubai as a premier location for media production and it is hoped that the development of a mechanism to decrease the cost of media production will further enhance Dubai’s position regionally and internationally as a media production hub.

It is becoming increasingly evident that investors see the potential in the film industry throughout the UAE and are looking to take advantage of the growing liberalisation of the film market in the region.[4]“

Comments are closed.