The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a well-known business destination. What’s less known is that the country is also an increasingly popular location for film production. The film and production industry has been picking up pace in the UAE in the last few years. Along with many successful home-grown producers and studios, the Emirates has provided the backdrop to several blockbuster films including the Star Wars, Star Trek, and the Mission Impossible franchises.
The reason for this growth is the availability of extraordinary support and pro-business initiatives of the government. With these initiatives, the number of filmmaking companies is growing at a rapid pace in the Emirates. Starting your film production company is not just comfortable but also incredibly profitable due to the availability of several historical architectures, state-of-art infrastructure, and beautiful eye-capturing locations in cities like Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
When you work with a business set-up specialist, you can be up and running in a matter of days. If you’re looking to switch an existing company to the Emirates or taking your first foray into film production, here’s what you need to know to get started in the UAE.
Setting up a Film Production Company in the UAE
Establishing a film production company can be simple and hassle-free if you complete these steps -
- Decide on where you wish to do your business - Mainland or Freezone. Both have their advantages. There are a few freezone dedicated to such business activities like Fujairah Creative City, Dubai Media City, Dubai Production City, Dubai Studio City etc.
- Decide on a company name.
- Take approvals from various authorities and submit required documents.
Once these steps are completed, the concerned authority will hand over your film production license.
The application procedure requires you to submit some essential documentation along with a complete application form. This may include:
- Two colour passport size photos
- Passport copy of the proposed owner or shareholders
- Details of the activities you want to carry out
One of the essential parts of film production in Dubai is the film shooting process. The regulatory authority that handles these things is the Dubai Film and Television Commission (DFTC). DFTC has a close relationship and cooperation with all relevant government departments and location owners. It works alongside Dubai Police, Dubai Municipality, GDFRA - Dubai and RTA (Road and Transport Authority) before permitting film shooting at a suitable place. This makes things more comfortable as the company will only need to contact DFTC, and this sole authority will do the hard work.
The permit is required for both the audio and visual production of a film. It is necessary whether you want to shoot a film indoor or outdoor locations. You can ask permission for government-operated, private or public property.
Hopefully, this guide has made clear that if you’re armed with the right knowledge, applying for a video production license in Dubai doesn’t have to be overly complicated.
That being said, it does need a level of prior knowledge of the process. What’s more, it is essential to note that the application process is only straightforward if your license application is complete at the time of submission and free from errors.
To help you to ensure that this is the case, it’s a good idea to work with a business setup expert such as Commitbiz when establishing a new company in the UAE. Right from business incorporation to office space, we cover it all.
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