Star Wars: The Force Awakens was released in the UAE this month (*cue over-enthusiastic nods from mega-fans) and as crowds the world over stampede toward their nearest cinema to catch the latest in the Star Wars saga, we couldn't be more proud that the beautiful shots of the planet Jakku (Star Wars geek speak for an isolated desert planet) were shot right here in the UAE, earlier this year.
While the Lovin' office is still divided over whether we think the movie is brilliant or just 'good' (the argument is about whether you need to be a fan of the whole saga to actually enjoy it), one thing we can settle on is how cool the Liwa Oasis, which is about 150km south of Abu Dhabi, looks. Check out our piece on 15 beautiful pictures of the UAE's Liwa Oasis.
So cool in fact, we decided to check out what other major movies have been shot here. Yep, it's not only Star Wars (yes, yes and Fast and Furious 7 before you rudely interrupt) that have been filmed here, we found a few others, and one movie that's released soon. We seriously couldn't contain our excitement when we heard that parts of the not-yet released Star Trek Beyond movie was shot here and a whopping $32 million was spent in the 20 days the production team spent here. We wonder how much the entire production cost?! Tax rebates are offered to people who come to make movies here, so along with the stunning architecture and desert landscape, filming in the UAE is a very attractive option for film-makers. Who knows what kind of movies we can expect to arrive here next, judging from the below we have bets on some more futuristic-style action flicks.
Can you recognise any other parts of the UAE in the clips below?
1. Star Trek Beyond
Set for release in July 2016
Random facts: It cost $32 million to film the shots in Dubai and the shoot went four days over the scheduled 16. Talks of using Burj Khalifa in prominent shots were dismissed, this is a futuristic flick, they wanted to choose a less recognisable building.
2. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
Released: December 2015
Random facts: During a scene as Finn and Rey return to Jakku, she mentions a place called Liwa Outpost. It is a nod to the Liwa Desert where the planet Jakku is filmed in Abu Dhabi.
3. Fast and Furious 7
Released: April 2015
Random facts: The movie arguably has the largest number of bald actors in the main cast ever involved in one film: Vin Diesel, Jason Statham, Dwayne Johnson, Tyrese Gibson, and Djimon Hounsou. All of the film's scenes shot inside the Etihad Towers in Abu Dhabi were filmed on American sound stages, and the HyperSport jumps were created entirely with special effects.
4. Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol
Released: December 2011
Random facts: The movie includes shots from the Zabeel Saray, Palm Jumeirah and the Burj Khalifa (the Armani Hotel is mentioned). The incredible stunt (included in clip above) in which Cruise dangles outside the Burj was preformed by Cruise at a height of 1,700 feet. Eeek.
Released: March 2008
Random facts: Race went on to become the fourth biggest Bollywood film of 2008 behind Ghajini, Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi and Singh is Kinng in terms of gross. This was loosely based on the 1998 Hollywood movie Goodbye Lover and parts were shot in the Jabal Ḥafeet mountains, near Al Ain.
Released: November 2005
Random facts: Hollywood heavyweights Matt Damon and George Clooney star in this blockbuster which boasts five Academy Award winners in total; Chris Cooper, George Clooney, William Hurt, Christopher Plummer and Matt Damon. Dubai was one of 15 locations the movie was filmed in.
7. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps
Released: September 2010
Random facts: While this movie is predominantly set in New York, apparently some of the swankier scenes were filmed right here in Dubai. Also, during filming, Shia LaBeouf became so interested in trading that he began studying for his Series 7 Exam, going on to earn his broker's licence. Studying and acting? What a multi-tasker.