Welcome to Dubai, where you can film and produce your next project. But before you start filming, there are a few things you need to know about location permits.
Film permits are required for all commercial and non-commercial filming in Dubai, so it’s essential to start the process early and ensure everything is in order.
In this post, we’ll outline everything you need to get your film permit in Dubai and make your production as easy and smooth as possible.
What is a Film Permit?
It is permission needed to shoot a film in a particular location. It’s required for commercial filming and on public land, as well as on private property.
UAE is known for its pristine beaches, beautiful architecture, and incredible landscapes—and it attracts tourists from all over the world. But if you’re not careful with your camera, you could ruin someone else’s vacation or beautiful memories.
It is where the film permit comes in to ensure that filmmakers respect the laws and customs of the UAE while protecting people from any potential harm from being filmed without their consent.
When Do You Need a Film Permit?
You’ll need a film permit if you’re filming in any of the following locations:
- Public places, such as malls and parks
- Private places (such as the office of your business partner), but only if the owner does not allow filming without permission
- Government buildings, including ministries and federal offices. It also applies to government-owned vehicles and public transportation services (such as taxis)
- Schools, universities, and higher education institutions, such as libraries or laboratories used for educational purposes.
- Hospitals or clinics where patients’ rights have priority over commercial interests (You may only film inside hospitals with prior consent from the institution’s administration.)
There are a few exceptions to the rule, however. Casual filming in a public space is not considered filming and will not require a permit. So if you’re just shooting random footage of people walking down the street or even filming in one of Dubai’s many malls (or anywhere else where people congregate), there is no need for a permit.
How to Get a Film Permit in Dubai?
You’ll want to contact a respective film service partner like us as soon as possible. They will be able to help you get the permits you need, so they’re essentially one of the first steps in getting started on your project.
When you first talk, you must explain your project and its purpose. In this way, the company can decide if filming in Dubai is the right choice for what you’re doing and how they can assist you.
Once that’s all out of the way, it’s time for them to start looking into locations where filming might work well for what you’re trying to accomplish with this project!
When applying for location permits, you must be specific about what you plan to shoot. The last thing you want is to spend time and money shooting your film only to discover that your permit was invalid because of a minor detail (like being too close to a school).
It’s also important not to be vague when answering questions about where and when you plan to film. For example, if the location is private property, make sure that it will be okay with the production company to take over their space for a few hours or days.
In short: don’t say “we’ll just film in public” or “we’ll just film in private.” Both statements are dangerous because they open up many gray areas — but, fortunately, you can avoid them by being more specific when applying for your permits!
Also Read: Fantastic Locations to Film in the UAE
Expect the Unexpected
Location permits can be challenging to secure, and it’s essential to be prepared for the unexpected. For example, if you want to film in a public place, you will likely need a permit from the local authority (or authorities) that govern that area.
It means that even if your production company has already obtained a location permit from Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC), you may still need additional approvals or permissions from other departments before filming can take place.
It’s important to know who these other departments are and their requirements before starting your shoot so as not to disrupt the production later on.
It is also very likely that your shoot gets restricted, which comes with certain hoops you must jump through before acquiring approval; these could include: securing insurance coverage, changing your schedule, finding alternative locations outside of Dubai, etc.
If you’re working with animals on film, be prepared to apply for additional permits. First, you’ll need to apply for a permit from Dubai Municipality, which will be forwarded to the Ministry of Environment and Water. After that, your application will be vetted by the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment before being sent to the Ministry of Health.
Tips for Your Next Shoot in Dubai
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