Location scouting is a vital process in the pre-production stage of filmmaking and commercial photography. Once scriptwriters, producers or directors have decided what general kind of scenery they require for the various parts of their work that is shot outside of the studio, the search for a suitable place or "location" outside the studio begins.
IAP responsible for the finding and securing locations to be used, obtaining all needed fire, police and other governmental permits, and coordinating the logistics involved for the production to successfully complete its necessary work.
A "location scout" is responsible for the initial scouting of all the locations used in a film and translates the writer and director’s vision for the look of the scene into a viable and appropriate location. An experienced location scout will take into account all the logistics necessary for the production to adequately work.
Standard location fees for all public and most private locations in Dubai are defined as per Executive Decision No. 50, issued in 2014 by Dubai Government Executive Council, which established the Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC).
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.
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.
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.
1. Do I need a permit to shoot in Dubai?
A shooting permit is required for all commercial media production activities in public, government-operated and privately owned and/or operated locations. Examples of such locations include outdoor and indoor shoots on streets, beaches, the metro system, public parks, car parks, shopping malls, hotels, sporting arenas, hospitals, offices, etc. Media production activities include still or moving visual and audio recordings by a production company, broadcaster or other entity.
2. Dubai Film and TV Commission issue permits for all possible locations in Dubai?
DFTC is the sole entity authorized to issue all audio and visual media production permits and to obtain related approvals from all government departments and private sector entities in Dubai. The Location Approval Services (LAS) office, which has supported the growth of the local film industry since 2005 through Dubai Studio City, now falls under DFTC. To date, LAS has facilitated more than 6,000 shooting applications, and has provided a range of support services to filmmakers.
3. How long does it take to obtain a public or private permit?
Once a complete application is submitted with payment, it takes five business days to receive a permit. In special cases, it may take longer, in which case DFTC will inform you.
Dubai is the main production center , Foreigners must apply for permits through a local production house who take responsibility for the visiting production. Permits for commercials are quick and easy typically requiring up to two weeks of lead time to be processed, pending the specific location.
- Application for Visit Visa duly filled and signed by authorized signatory.
- Two (2) passport photocopies of applicant .
- Two (2) color photograph with white background, Size: 4.3cm x 5.5cm
- Health Insurance covering the period of staying in country.
- The applicant's passport must have a validity of at least six (6) months
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