New pact to make Emirati film, TV industry a big draw

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RITIKA SHARMA / Emirates Business

Roll, camera and, action. Given the number of Hollywood and Bollywood movies shot here, the world is well aware of the potential and the appeal of the Emirates capital as a hot spot for the film and television industry. Now, authorities recognise that too.
Aiming to give a major boost to the Emirati film and television industry, twofour54 and Abu Dhabi Ports have inked a 12-month deal, under which the two authorities will leverage each other’s infrastructure to enhance the film and television production offering of Abu Dhabi, by setting up a new filming location at Khalifa Industrial Zone Abu Dhabi (Kizad).
Abu Dhabi Ports will have access to twofour54’s studios and post production facilities for commercial projects, as well as greater access to twofour54’s 380-strong partner base.
The memorandum of understanding was signed by Chair of Media Zone Authority-Abu Dhabi (MZA) and twofour54 Board, Noura al Kaabi, and Abu Dhabi Ports Chief Executive Officer, Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi aims to enhance the development of the film and television industry in Abu Dhabi.
Commenting on the partnership, Chair of MZA and twofour54 Board, Noura Al Kaabi said, “twofour54 and Abu Dhabi Ports are united in their mission to enhance Abu Dhabi’s growth and support the UAE’s economic diversification. Both organisations have complementary resources that through closer collaboration we can leverage to enhance the film production industry in the Emirate, benefiting both entities and, ultimately, Abu Dhabi.”
“A key attraction of Abu Dhabi to regional and international film productions is the variety of locations we can offer their projects. By partnering with Abu Dhabi Ports, twofour54 will be able to add a new, large scale filming location to the diverse list that we already offer film and television producers,” she added.
Captain Mohamed Juma Al Shamisi, CEO of Abu Dhabi Ports, said, “This collaborative initiative with twofour54 is an opportunity to further position Abu Dhabi as a preeminent destination of innovative cultural and business initiatives, as envisaged by our wise leadership. Our business spans across enabling maritime trade, industrial businesses and cruise tourism, and by working with other entities such as twofour54 we are able to find new ways to support the realisation of economic diversification. “The quality infrastructure that we provide at Abu Dhabi Ports allows for such projects to take shape,” he added.
It is noticeable that in the past two years alone, twofour54 has attracted a number of major film productions including Fast & Furious 7, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Dishoom, Bang Bang and Baby! Global television programmes such as Top Gear UK, Gran Tourismo Academy and The USA Today Show have also filmed in the Emirate. Abu Dhabi is also at the forefront of Arabic content with award winning television series, Al Ikhwa; the new version of Iftah Ya Simsim, the Arabic version of Sesame Street; and popular entertainment news show, ET Bil Arabi all being produced in the Emirate.

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