- Media Village and Bajdah Desert Studios open at NEOM with three sound stages operational and a further seven planned by Q1 2023
- Interim studios fast-tracked due to strong regional and international demand
- Media Village and Bajdah Desert Studios encompass full production support facilities and 350 serviced accommodation units
NEOM, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: NEOM, the sustainable region taking shape in northwest Saudi Arabia, announced today the formal operational opening of NEOM Media Village and Bajdah Desert Studios, which together comprise the country’s largest sound stages and film production support facilities, having supported some 25 productions over the course of the last 18 months.
NEOM also formally announced its 40%+ cash rebate production incentive scheme for feature films, TV (drama, reality, documentaries) and commercials, with producers able to secure a higher percentage based on their industry development contributions.
"Clearly production incentives play a vital role in terms of attracting productions but are best leveraged when the entire package is in place: infrastructure, on-the-ground international production expertise, crew depth and ease of doing business,” commented Wayne Borg, Managing Director for Media Industries, Entertainment and Culture at NEOM. “NEOM is now in the position to offer this competitive package."
Built to accommodate the immediate and growing demand from regional and international producers for state-of-the-art TV and film facilities, the first three sound stages across the two locations are already operational. A further seven, including a high-tech volumetric production stage, are set to open by Q1 2023.
"This is an important milestone in realizing our aim of becoming the epicenter of the regional media industry," added Borg. "Our team, facilities and diverse filming locations mean we can provide a seamless, world-class production experience and use our capacity and capabilities to become the focal point of collaboration among talent, creators and key contributors within the global media industry.”
NEOM Media Village currently features one 2,400-square-meter, state-of-the-art sound stage, complete with back-of-house facilities comprising of make-up rooms, green rooms and production offices, with three further stages under construction. At Bajdah Desert Studios, there are two 3,000-square-meter sound stages, with a further four scheduled to come online by the end of 2022.
All the studios will be home to world-class production facilities, including set production offices, construction warehouses, prop shops, wardrobe, SFX facilities and backlot space to support complex set builds. Film and ancillary equipment including cameras; grip and lighting; shotover; heavy-lift drones, telehandlers, boom lifts, scissor lifts and trackway are available on both sites.
The production facilities will also offer a total of 350 dedicated accommodation units for cast and crew, supported by a great offering of lifestyle facilities.
Complementing the physical sound stages and production facilities, NEOM has assembled an experienced international production team that has a deep understanding of what producers and crew need, whether on stage or on location. This team supports incoming productions to provide a smooth and cost-efficient production experience.
The interim facilities already have a number of productions underway including fantasy-adventure ‘Rise of The Witches,’ the region’s biggest TV show to date, and ‘Million Dollar Island,’ a new reality TV survival show that wrapped filming this July. In addition, NEOM’s first local serial drama is scheduled to begin production this month.
During 2021, NEOM hosted 20 major international productions, ranging from major large-scale international features such as Desert Warrior, helmed by Rupert Wyatt (director of ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’) and starring Anthony Mackie, Sir Ben Kingsley and Aiysha Hart. Additionally, a range of TV and streaming projects have demonstrated NEOM's ability and capacity to support not only a variety of productions but also to host multiple, large-scale productions simultaneously.
NEOM is an accelerator of human progress and a vision of what a new future might look like. It is a region in northwest Saudi Arabia on the Red Sea being built from the ground up as a living laboratory – a place where entrepreneurship will chart the course for this new future. It will be a destination and a home for people who dream big and want to be part of building a new model for exceptional livability, creating thriving businesses and reinventing environmental conservation.
NEOM will include hyperconnected, cognitive cities, ports and enterprise zones, research centers, sports and entertainment venues and tourist destinations. As a hub for innovation, entrepreneurs, business leaders and companies will come to research, incubate and commercialize new technologies and enterprises in groundbreaking ways. Residents of NEOM will embody an international ethos and embrace a culture of exploration, risk-taking and diversity.
This material is distributed by Teneo Strategy LLC on behalf of NEOM Company. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice, Washington, DC.