Famous for its soaring skyscrapers and state-of-the-art architecture, Dubai can still surprise filmmakers. You can easily shoot CGI-packed movies here. But there is another side of the metropolis that only a few know about. Among the rather neglected film locations in Dubai, the Old City area is next on our list.

Uncanny Film Locations In Dubai

Let’s face it, the Burj Khalifa is one of those iconic landmarks that simply define Dubai in anyone’s mind. The endless urban skyline has been a favorite of many action movies. But film locations in Dubai extend beyond the dazzling modern area. For those willing to take a step back, the historical side of the metropolis can be a pleasant surprise.

Time-traveling comes within reach once you turn your eyes (or camera) towards Dubai Creek. This heritage quarter not only boasts historical gems, but it has them all fully restored. Traditional dhows (sailing boats) still roam the waters of the Gulf. On the Creek’s banks, you can admire the Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood. The buildings here have been all brought back to their original glory. Skillfully made of gypsum and coral, they strike in contrast with the modern skyline. Imagine capturing such different worlds on film. Wouldn’t that be stunning?

For modern backdrops, the Eastern side of Dubai feels more appropriate. Massive yachts, a helipad, it all says luxury there. But for a more traditional atmosphere, do consider Old Dubai. It is on this side where you can also spot the oldest construction in the city -the Al Fahidi Fort.

From the Al Seef district, head towards the souk for a blast from the past embodied by color, smell, and texture. Spices, Arabian perfumes, textiles, gleaming gold, they make quite a dazzling b-roll.

Embracing both history and futuristic expansion, film locations in Dubai are precious.

Things To Consider When Filming in Dubai

Cultural awareness is essential when filming abroad. And film locations in Dubai are no exception to that rule. If you have ever wondered why most of the productions shot here are action movies, not romances, this is why.

Public manifestations of affection are rather restricted in Dubai. Only spouses are allowed to share a hotel room, for example. Rules for filming and photography are carefully regulated by the local authorities. Plus, any impolite gesture can draw severe consequences. You must take into consideration these aspects when you plan to film here.

The city itself is very modern and can provide a wide variety of filming resources. But at the same time, the community values its religion and traditions highly. This is why you may perceive it as conservative at times. Of course, with careful planning and keeping in mind the main rules for behavior in public, all is good. Shooting in Dubai is a breeze, given the large pool of experts and top-notch gear available.

Work closely with a local fixer, to get things settled before moving on set. They can advise you on any concerning aspects. Or better yet, work with us, Dubai Fixer!