The Cinema of the United Arab Emirates is minimal but expanding. There was only one full-length Emirati feature film as of 2007,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.
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. It came out on DVD on 25 September 2013.