The UAE supports the production of films and TV shows through major production hubs in Dubai and Abu Dhabi's Free Zones. The free zones provide a strong regulatory environment and streamlined services for obtaining permits and visas, thereby streamlining the production process.
TwoFour54, which is Abu Dhabi's Media Free Zone, offers high quality production and post-production facilities and services for the creation of everything from corporate videos, TVC's and music videos to large scale television dramas, entertainment shows and feature films. Twofour54 offers studios, backlot and the UAE's only Dolby Vision certified post-production facility as well as a creative team that has experience and contacts to enable a seamless production experience. To enable a greater use of the facilities and services, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission offers a 30% cashback rebate on production spend in Abu Dhabi.
Dubai Studio City is a collaborative media production hub and the region's leading business community for film and television production with state-of-the-art infrastructure and purpose-built facilities including the largest sound stages in the Middle East. Since its establishment in 2005, Dubai Studio City has grown into a community that fosters creativity and nurtures filmmakers and producers in its world class production and post-production facilities.
* Dubai is home to approximately 120 UAE licensed production companies.
* Dubai Studio City is home to more than 275 companies, 2,800+ professional, 1,000+ freelancers and has supported major cinema projects including Star Trek Beyond and Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol.
* Over the last five years, Dubai Media City, Dubai Production City and Dubai Studio City have offered roughly 55 free workshops to over 2,000 participants. In 2020, they offered 10 virtual sessions tailored to the media, film and music industry.
* TwoFour54, Abu Dhabi's Media Free Zone is home to 600+ media companies, 850+ freelancers, 130+ entrepreneurs, and 5000+ media professional and has supported movie production working closely with Paramount, Hollywood director Michael Bay and Salman Khan Films.
* Twofour54 was a winner of "Studio of the Year" in the Middle-East in 2010, 2014, 2017, 2018, and 2019. Further, it won "Best Studio for Post-production" in 2011 and 2012.
The UAE started developing its media ecosystem in the early 2000s with the establishment of Dubai Media City. Since then, it has grown to include media free zones across the country, with the evolution of the free zones into sector-specific zones. The media free zones have been a driver of sector development and will continue to receive attention as they develop and adapt to the changing environment.