Cinema powerhouse: Dubai Studio City turns 15

Business community established UAE as a global hub for production, broadcasting, entertainment and regional hub for cinema

  • Ecosystem’s world-class infrastructure and advanced facilities have attracted major Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Trek Beyond and Mission Impossible, as well as Master Chef Arabia, Jackie Chan’s Vanguard

Dubai: Dubai Studio City is celebrating its 15th anniversary as the region’s leading business community for film and television production, as well as a cornerstone of the emirate’s diverse media ecosystem.

Established in 2005 in line with the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the business community boasts state-of-the-art infrastructure, the biggest sound stages in the Middle East and North Africa, boutique studios across 18 buildings and seven workshops.

Dubai Studio City, alongside Dubai Media City and Dubai Production City, forms a complete ecosystem that is home to 3,000 companies including StarzPlay, MBC, Dubai Media Incorporated, and Discovery Networks Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa — employing 34,000 professionals.

Between 2017 and 2020, Dubai Studio City has seen more than 4,000 productions with a total budget in excess of AED 400 million shot across the community.

To date, Dubai Studio has chronicled several successes by attracting a string of global productions including Star Trek Beyond, Tom Cruise’s Mission Impossible, Jackie Chan’s Vanguard and Kung Fu Yoga among others, as well as several popular TV productions such as Master Chef Arabia and The Cube.

The most recent production supported by Dubai Studio City is Arabic movie 321 Action, featuring actress Maysa Maghrbi and Majed Fawaz. The movie was shot at the Dubai Studio City sound stages and in5 – an incubator for tech, media and design startups – and covered several other iconic locations in the emirate.

Commenting on the milestone, Majed Al Suwaidi, Managing Director of Dubai Studio City, said: “Our community was established to play a pivotal role in Dubai’s vision to become a global production, broadcasting and entertainment hub. We are proud of what we have achieved over the last 15 years and look forward to continuing on the path of promoting the media and creative industries, as well as nurturing local and global talent by providing them with access to the best infrastructure and cinema production tools.”

He added: “As part of our drive to support the UAE’s knowledge and innovation-based economy, we are on a mission to set new global benchmarks in ease of doing business and competitiveness. And as our vibrant business community matures, we believe it will become a catalyst for more homegrown success stories and a strategic location for many Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters.”

To shine the spotlight on local artists and content creators, during the pandemic, Dubai Studio City introduced Reel Talks, a digital weekly series featuring leading regional industry figures, run in collaboration with in5 Media and ON.DXB, in partnership with the National Media Council. Emirati director Amal Al-Agroobi and Emirati animator Mohammed Saeed Harib joined the sessions to share personal anecdotes and tips on making a mark in the media industry.

Beyond a destination for film and TV production, Dubai Studio City has staged major events including The Big Bad Wolf Book Sale, Arab Hope Makers and On.DXB, a three-day film, video game and music festival. It also served as a training centre for aqua-theatre show La Perle.

It also encompasses several lifestyle and leisure option such as the Studio One Hotel, designed by an award-winning interior designer studio, which features a range of restaurants and recreational spaces. This has become a popular destination for community members and the wider public.


About Dubai Studio City

Dubai Studio City, established in 2005, is a regional platform for companies within the broadcasting, filmmaking, media production, and entertainment sectors. DSC is home to regional and global powerhouses,  and supports several industry events and activities. With an aim to foster innovation and increase knowledge in the entertainment sector, DSC also provides world-class training opportunities for local and international talent. Previously, the venue acted as a space to produce blockbuster movies and TV series including Star Trek Beyond, The Cube, Master Chef Arabia and Saraya Abdeen.

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