Filming In Dubai

LOGO NEEDAFIXER  Dubai

Surrounded by the sprawling desert, and sitting on the sparkling coast of the Persian Gulf, Dubai is an ultra-modern, high rise city. The skyscrapers and huge hotels make for interesting city shots, and just outside the city there are vast, unspoilt areas. With sunshine all year round, and luxurious locations, it’s a pleasant place to base your production.

  • Filming in Dubai
  • Fixers in Dubai
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When filming in Dubai you will be required to work with a local production company like NEEDaFIXER DUBAI. Dubai has strict permitting rules and foreign companies are not allowed to apply for permits without the endorsement of a local production company.  Generally speaking however, the permit process often has a quick turn around time and does not take more than a couple of weeks. NEEDaFIXER can also offer advice filming restrictions and local laws as well as offering interior and exterior locations. The United Arab Emirates government is generally welcoming to foreign film crews, and have invested in facilities such as Dubai Studio City to encourage filming in the area.

NEEDaFIXER has a strong pool of crew in the Dubai film industry and can supply camera operators, sound technicians, producers, runners, or any other crew members to match your production needs. We can also source local talent and cast that suit your requirements, offering you anything from headshots to a full casting including live auditions and show reels so you can make casting decisions before you arrive.

We work with multiple kit houses in Dubai – ARRI, RED, Sony and Canon cameras are available amongst others. Most grip and lighting kit is easily accessible in Dubai too. If you are filming in the desert, then you might even want drones to capture overhead shots, and we can provide drones and qualified pilots.
Dubai has its own thriving film industry that creates Arabic language movies that are exported across the Middle East. However, it’s becoming an increasingly popular spot for foreign crews to film, with a diverse range of movies from Star Trek Beyond, to Syriana filmed in the country. It has also become the background for many popular TV shows, from Doctor Who to 24. The desert landscape means it can be used as a stand-in for Middle Eastern countries where filming isn’t possible due to the political situation.

Dubai has many indoor and outdoor filming locations that are perfect for all sorts of productions. From the ultra-modern, luxurious surroundings of the beachfront hotels, to rooftops with views over the huge skyscrapers, there are plenty of unique places that would look amazing on film. The Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) issues the permits for private and public locations, and NEEDaFIXER DUBAI can help with chasing up the right paperwork in time from day one, as well as finding the perfect places to film, and getting cast and crew prepared.

What can our fixers in Dubai do for you?

Dubai can present a few challenges to film crew. The weather can be really overwhelming, especially in the summer months, and as soon as you leave the comfort of your air conditioned hotel you may be surprised by the heat.

Filming during Ramadan and other religious occasions can also be difficult and has the potential to cause disruption. We can advise the best locations to film, when to film to avoid the worst of the weather, and other practicalities.

  • Hatta Heritage Village – Set among rocky mountain landscapes, just outside of Dubai’s bustling city centre, this tourist attraction has been designed to look exactly like a traditional Emirati village, making it ideal for historic productions.
  • Textile Souq – The city’s Textile Souq is full of traditional features such as wooden arches and red tiled floors. With lots of colourful stalls, and a busy, bustling atmosphere, it is an ideal location for anyone needing to film market scenes.
  • Deira Corniche – Set on the waterfront, with clean, palm tree lined streets and the backdrop of modern hotels; Deira Corniche is an ideal spot to capture the look of modern day Dubai.

Frequently Asked Questions


How easy is it to get permits?

In order to obtain a filming permit, responsibility must be undertaken by a local production house, like NEEDaFIXER DUBAI.

In a nutshell, you will need to provide and have already in place the below information and documents, in order for us to start on the application process:

1) Script (including script title and author)
2) All media of distribution
3) Film locations (public and private) including their addresses
4) Daily itinerary
5) Passport copies of all the crew traveling to the UAE and their roles
6) For private locations: Letters from the owners allowing you to film
7) Letter of No Objection, authorizing us to apply for the permits on your behalf

NEEDaFIXER is happy to provide all guidance and support needed on how to put together all the above.

If you’re shooting a commercial, permits are incredibly easy to obtain and can take two weeks. Please be aware due to Dubai’s strict laws, nudity is not tolerated. For more information regarding filming locations, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Do I need a visa or work permit?

Generally speaking, there is no need for a visa in Dubai, but it may be worth checking with your local embassy depending on your country of origin.

For filming in Dubai you will need a work permit or endorsement from our local company. Work permits are issued along with the filming permits for all foreign crew coming to Dubai.


Can I hire equipment once there?

Equipment is available upon arrival in Dubai with Arri and Panavision being the main providers. If you need specific specialist equipment, which isn’t available in Dubai, you can easily import from abroad, which will take just under a week.


What is the climate like?
Hot, hot, HOT. Dubai is situated in the middle of the dessert, so expect soaring temperatures. Come night, the temperature can drop dramatically, so be sure to wrap up warm. Filming in Ramadan can be tricky, so it may be best to avoid during this time.

Some of Our Work

Testimonials

’You guys were amazing! You delivered perfectly at short notice in a foreign country, introduced us to lovely crew in both and really went the extra mile in making sure it was all taken care of and confirmed properly. I can’t thank you enough and look forward to working together again.’

Davo McConville

Free Lance Producer - Black Dog / RSA
’I have met NEEDaFIXER in Greece! It was LOVE from the first sight. Since then, I cannot imagine my production without them! They are like Family! Always helpful. Always happy. Always with loads of energy… & always with PASSION for what they do!’

Katarzyna Chmielarz

Producer / GPD

Ready to shoot? We’d love to help and are just a click away! All enquiries will be answered within 24 hours!

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