It’s Official: The Top 10 Throwback Bollywood Movies That Were Shot Here In The UAE


It’s no surprise that the UAE is Bollywood’s favorite overseas destinations for shoots and backdrops.

Filmmakers are dying to shoot in the UAE now more than ever before thanks to the rise of Burj Khalifa and other such FAB skyscrapers that simply light up the silver screen with glamour as well as tradition!

You would be surprised to know that some of your favorite movies were shot here in Dubai. Yallah let’s take a look.

How did Lovin Dubai choose the final list?

  • Finalists were selected from all across Dubai
  • Online reviews, previous media coverage and notable blogs were also included in the overall rating
  • The final list is subjective – if we’ve missed out on any must-try places across Dubai, please do let us know!
  • The brand’s social media audience and engagement were considered

10. Deewane Huye Paagal (2005)

Starting off at #10 is this throwback movie!

Remember this WACK one?

The film boasted a star-studded cast with Akshay Kumar and Shahid Kapoor taking on the lead roles.

This movie had huge chunks of the movie shot in Dubai… a couple of locations that you will NOT be able to miss were Knowledge Village and Deira Creek.


9. Hamari Adhuri Kahani (2015)

This movie includes Bollywood biggies like Emraan Hashmi, Vidya Balan and Rajkummar Rao.

Hamari Adhuri Kahani was shot around many sites in Dubai such as, the Dubai Airport, Mina Bazaar, Dubai Creek (Bollywood’s favourite shooting location) and the Miracle Garden.


8. Once Upon ay Time in Mumbai Dobaara! (2013)

While not actually shot in the UAE, you can’t deny the beauty of this picture, therefore it couldn’t be excluded from this list:

Starring Akshay Kumar and Sonakshi Sinha in the lead, the makers made use of the mesmerizing landmarks in Oman as a backdrop for this fancy crime-drama sequel.

The beauty of the resorts and monuments that were featured in the movie had won over the hearts of thousands of Bollywood followers!

Mumbai1 621X414

7. Sarkar 3

Another Deira lover right here!!

Old Dubai and Deira were prominent settings for this Amitabh Bachan starrer as well as it synced with the tone of the film.

You will also be able to spot the Gold Souq, Marina Mall, The Dubai Mall, Dubai Aquarium and Sheikh Zayed Road and the Dolphin Bay throughout the movie.


Anil Dhanak who is the managing director for Kanz Jewels (where a portion of the shoot took place) landed himself a cameo in the movie opposite the star Jackie Shroff… ugh so lucky.


6. Race 3 (2018)

Race 3 is a widely celebrated franchise that should have probably stopped at its second installment…

Regardless of the questionable script the movie’s cinematography was EPIC solely because of the extravagance and the lavishness of Dubai’s landscapes.

Because the plot revolves around wealth and glamour, the filmmakers opted for Dubai as the city literally SCREAMS opulence.

Idiva Race3 Lead 1 1

5. Bewakoofiyaan (2015)

This easy breezy movie was more of a slice-of-life starring Sonam Kapoor, Ayushmann Khurrana and Rishi Kapoor.

The portions of the movie that were shot in Dubai served as a pivotal point in the film’s narrative when the two protagonists were going through a rough patch. You can easily spot Marina, JBR and the Dubai Mall in the movie where Sonam Kapoor can be seen splurging and giving into Dubai’s shopping scene.

16Cp Bewakoofiyaan

4. Partner (2007)

This throwback comedy is one for all ages! With glamour, comedy, drama this movie had it all.

The Salman Khan, Govina and Katrina Kaif starrer had two of their songs conceptualized in the heart of Dubai where you will be able to catch glimpses of the stunning Emirates Palace Hotel and Dubai Media City in the two songs, ‘You’re my love’ and ‘Maria Maria’.


The corporate offices where Katrina Kaif takes on the role of a wealthy business woman in the movie were shot in Chelsea Towers in Dubai, now known as Al Salam Tower and a little 411- it’s the tallest residential building in the world… for now at least.


3. Dabangg (2010)

This action packed movie won the nation’s heart and ended up being the first of actor Salman Khan’s (aka Bhai) record-breaking movies.

A few sequences from this movie were shot in Dubai as well as Abu Dhabi.

The lovey dovey song that was shot with Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha was taken in the dunes of Dubai where they are seen enjoying the vibe and taking pictures with a falcon.

The on-screen couple were also seen in the Burjuman metro station taking a casual metro ride for their honeymoon sequence. With all these chill scenes Salman Khan was giving his fans MAJOR vacationing goals!

Dabangg 3 Salman Khan Arbaaz Khan Shoot 759

2. Airlift (2016)

This movie had literally filled every Indian with so much pride and joy with amazing patriotic feels that stick on till way after the movie is done.

A good portion of the movie was shot in Ras Al Khaimah. Surely the set up of the movie in RAK must have initially alarmed the residents as the set included steel mesh, ambush vehicles and armed soldiers dressed in khakhi uniforms.

Although soon after the public got a whiff of the fact that Bollywood’s megastar AKSHAY KUMAR was shooting there and breathed a sigh of relief, *phew.


Around 200 crew-members were flown over from India for a schedule in RAK and a massive public announcement had to be made to ask fans to refrain from taking pictures and compromising the climax of the movie.


1. Welcome (2007) & Welcome Back (2015)

Finallyy at #1 we have the 2007 release, Welcome (with Akshay Kumar in the lead) and its sequel… no brownie points for guessing… Welcome back (with John Abraham in the lead)!

This was the clear winner from the polls shared across Lovin. BRB, re-watching this asap!

Lovin Dubai Twitter Poll

Lovin Dubai Facebook Poll

Both movies were CRAY comical mayhems that the public just couldn’t get enough off and the movies went on to become HUGE HITS!!

One of the more popular scenes in the first movie where Paresh Rawal gets extorted by Anil Kapoor was filmed in a boutique in Dubai’s very own Dragon Mart.

Welcome Back Movie Download


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