One of the major hassles for film producers is to get the requisite permissions to shoot at any particular location. But Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) is making things easier for them; its going hi-tech. They have launched a location permitting system that will allow the authorities to approve film permits that are requested online by filmmakers. This will save a lot of hassle as well as time for filmmakers who want to shoot in and around Dubai.
Expected to streamline the approval process
With this new online location permitting system, producers don’t have to physically go to the film commission’s office to get all the approvals. They can now submit, track and pay for their filming permits through the commission’s website; even the scripts can be submitted for approval in the same way.
This is a very practical thinking on the part of DFTC because ever since they have started promoting Dubai as a production destination, the place has been receiving several permit applications.
“We currently process over a thousand permit applications per year, and expect that number to rise with our concerted efforts to promote Dubai as a production destination,” said Chairman of Dubai Film and TV Commission.
Filmmakers can prepare for a shoot without having to visit the place
In the last few months, several popular film shoots have taken place in Dubai – Masterchef Arabia, The Bold and the Beautiful, Welcome Back, and it seems Dubai’s film and TV industry is only going from strength to strength.
That is where the online portal is helping DFTC improve their efficiency by streamlining the processes.
The biggest advantage for media producers is that, through the portal, they will be able to access important features like a regional locations library. It will allow filmmakers to prepare for a shoot in Dubai without having to actually visit the city in person; it will also help producers save some production costs.
Permissions required for filming in Dubai
DFTC actively promotes Dubai and the UAE as a filming destination, and its the sole body authorized to issue permits for shooting in Dubai.
For all films and TV series that require filming in Dubai, application for script approval must be received prior to submitting an application for a filming permit.
DFTC aims to be an international media production hub
The automated, online process is an important step for DFTC as they strive to be a regional and international media production hub.
Recently, Dubai Film and TV Commission had also launched a full production guide for the city (during the Cannes Film Festival).
Dubai may not yet offer a formal filming incentive programme but they do negotiate tailored incentives for specific productions. That’s why they manage to attract international productions, including some big ones (such as Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol).
Improved accessibility to the United Arab Emirates from various parts of the world is also expected to boost location filming in the area. Etihad Airways now have direct flights operating between Los Angeles and Abu Dhabi, which will further benefit Dubai.