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How to Film in Dubai

Obtain permit through DFTC

The Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) is the sole entity authorized to issue shooting permits in Dubai. As mandated by Dubai Government Executive Council Decision #16, issued in 2012, DFTC serves as the single point of contact to obtain permits to shoot anywhere in Dubai. DFTC liaises with other government entities such as the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs-Dubai, Dubai Municipality, Dubai Police, and the Roads and Transport Authority, as well as with location owners, to obtain all necessary approvals before issuing permits. 

Media shooting permit criteria

Shooting permits are required for audio and visual media productions on public, government-operated and private property, whether indoor or outdoor. Any individual or entity that wishes to shoot in Dubai must appoint a production company licensed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to obtain a shooting permit. For those new to Dubai, DFTC is a one-stop shop for assistance with shooting locations, introductions to UAE-licensed production companies, and support for other elements of the production process.
See chart below for media shooting permit criteria:

Applicants Shooting Location Media Platforms Content Format
Any individual, corporation, or entity that wishes to shoot in Dubai must appoint a UAE-licensed production company to obtain a shooting permit. For information on UAE-based production companies, see Permit Applications section. Permits are required for any shoots in public, government-operated, or private locations, whether indoor or outdoor. For a list of locations available for media shooting, see Public Locations and Private Locations sections. For information on fees, see Permit Fees section. Permits are required for audio and visual media productions for all media platforms, including:
Television, Film, Radio, Online, Mobile, Print
Permits are required for media production of all content formats, including: Advertisement,Short-form,Long-form, Documentary, Radio program, Photography

 

The Location Approval Services (LAS) office of Dubai Studio City, which previously handled approvals, now falls under DFTC. LAS has contributed significantly to the growth of the media industry in Dubai since 2005, having facilitated over 6,000 productions to date, across a variety of genres, including big-budget blockbusters, independent films, scripted and reality TV shows, advertisements and corporate videos.