Cinema of the United Arab Emirates

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Cinema of the United Arab Emirates
No. of screens 255 (2010)[1]
 • Per capita 3.2 per 100,000 (2010)[1]
Number of admissions (2011)[2]
Total 12,600,000
Gross box office (2012)[3]
Total $119 million

The Cinema of the United Arab Emirates is minimal but expanding. There was only one full-length Emirati feature film as of 2007,[citation needed] Al-Hilm, about a group of frustrated actors/directors wandering aimlessly in the desert. However, there are a large number of short films from the country (the makers of which have been dubbed the 'Emerging Emiratis'). In addition the UAE is a popular filming location for South Asian films and television serials, mainly those of Bollywood and the Pakistani Lollywood.

The UAE holds annual film festivals in Dubai and Abu Dhabi, and a film studio (Studio City) has been purpose-built in Dubai to promote Emirati filmmaking.

In 2008 Emirati director Majid Abdulrazak produced a film version of Wilfred Thesiger's Arabian Sands which was self-funded and employed actors from the UAE and Oman in most of the major roles. The film has since been released on DVD by Viva Entertainment.

The second edition of the Gulf Film Festival in Dubai (April 2009) premiered two UAE feature films. Al Dayra (The Circle), by filmmaker and actor Nawaf Al-Janahi, told the story of Ibrahim, a poet and journalist who captures a thief and finds himself changing lives with him. Director and novelist Saleh Karama also showcased his first feature, Henna, in which the title character’s mother is sick, and her frequent fits have led to a divorce; fatherless Henna has to find a way to relate to her new father-figure, a Bedouin relative who arrives from the desert with his camels to visit the family.

The sixth edition of the Dubai International Film Festival in 2009 featured further screenings of The Circle and the premiere of City of Life by Emirati director Ali F. Mostafa, which went on to achieve general release in UAE cinemas on 22 April 2010 - the first locally produced film to do so.

Nawaf Al-Janahi's film Sea Shadow was released on 17 November 2011.[4] It came out on DVD on 25 September 2013.

The first Emirati Science Fiction Feature length Film called Aerials was released on 16 June 2016 in cinemas.[5][6] Directed by S.A.Zaidi and Produced by Ghanem Ghubash, Aerials was released in UAE simultaneously with Independence Day 2 as a contrast of both being alien invasion films.[7]

Emirati feature films[edit]

  • Al-Hilm (The Dream) (2005) Nawaf Al-Janahi
  • Tarab Fashion (2006) Mohamed Daham
  • Haneen (2006) Mohammad Al-Traifi
  • Arabian Sands (2008) Majid Abdulrazak
  • Al Dayra (The Circle) (2009) Nawaf Al-Janahi
  • Henna (2009) Saleh Karama
  • City of Life (2009) Ali F. Mostafa
  • Sea Shadow (2011) Nawaf Al-Janahi
  • Sundress (2014) Saeed Salmeen Al Murry
  • Bani Adam (2013) Majid Abdulrazak
  • Djinn (2013) Tobe Hooper
  • Grandmother's Farm (2014) Ahmed Zain
  • From A to B (2014) Ali F. Mostafa
  • Abood Kandaishan (2014) Fadel Al Mheiri
  • Grandmother's Farm 2 (2015) Ahmed Zain
  • Zinzana (2015) Majid Al Ansari
  • Going to Heaven (2015) Saeed Salmeen Al Murry
  • Abdullah (2015) Humaid Al Suwaidi
  • Dhay Fe Abu Dhabi (2016) Rakan
  • Aerials (2016) S.A.Zaidi & Ghanem Ghubash
  • Hajwala (2016) Ali Bin Matar & Ibrahim bin Mohamed

Emirati short films[edit]

  • Lost at Home (2016) Fayssal & Khaled Bensahli
  • Disheveled (2015) Fayssal & Khaled Bensahli
  • The Diversion (2015) Fayssal & Khaled Bensahli
  • The Sons of Two Suns (2013) S.A.Zaidi & Ghanem Ghubash
  • The Fallen (2008) Mohammed Mamdouh
  • 100 Miles (2007) Mustafa Abbas
  • Ahlam Fi Sundook (Dreams In A Box; 2003)
  • Al-Rumram (1994)
  • Ala Tareeq (On A Road; 2003)
  • Amen (2005)
  • Arabana (2006) Nayla Al Khaja
  • Arwaah (Souls; 2004)
  • Aushba's Well (2004)
  • Cigarettes (2004)
  • The Confrontation (1998)
  • Hajess (Obsession; 2002)
  • Mirrors of Silence (2006)
  • Signs of the Dead (2005)
  • Under the Sun (2005) Ali F. Mostafa
  • Once (2008) Nayla Al Khaja
  • Levity Xero Error Minus1 (2010) Ashraf Ghori
  • Malal (Bored; 2010) Nayla Al
  • Lost & Found in Dubai (2014) Vasilis Billy Blioumis
  • Zinzana' (Rattle the Cage; 2015) Majid Al Ansari
  • F=ma (2012) Experimental Short [8]

Films shot in the United Arab Emirates[edit]

Emirati directors[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]