Is there anything common in iconic movies like Mission Impossible, Star Trek Beyond, Race and Dabangg? Yes, they all were shot in Dubai. The city has also remained the movie set for many other popular movies and still continues to be the favorite of legendary filmmakers from all over the world. Thanks to its charming landscape with unrivaled architectural landmarks – all serve as an inimitable backdrop to portray daredevil action, intense drama, and mind-boggling romance like no other in a variety of movies. So, next time when you visit Dubai, check out some of the locations that enhanced your favorite movies’ cinematic magic. And this list includes some of the most amazing

Hollywood and Bollywood movies shot in Dubai.

Why Dubai?

movie shots in dubai

Dubai is often dubbed as the World’s Entertainment Capital. Its breathtaking attractions, particularly its over-the-top sights, larger-than-life structures, and untouched desert, have been a major draw for moviemakers to well capture their imagination for quite a long time. Rightly so, the city has been an irreplaceable choice for thousands of movies in diverse languages and genres. Needless to say, some of Dubai’s locations are as celebrated and noteworthy as a movie’s gripping storyline and mindblowing casts.

Many other aspects also contribute to Dubai’s reputation as the number one film making location. First of all, its avant-garde structures and unparalleled infrastructure are on par with any other international locations. Another major reason that attracts

movie shootings in Dubai

is its strategic location in the Middle East. Yes, it’s just to 3 to 4 hours away from most Indian states. And being somewhat at the junction between east and west, it offers convenient access for western movie maestros as well.

Hollywood Movies Shot in Dubai

Dubai is ever photogenic with its mix of dazzling Burj Khalifa, uber-contemporary neighborhoods, and timeless Arabian dunes. And some of the brilliant movie makers have well utilized these picturesque locations to spin their cinematic imaginations into true movie magic. Unsurprisingly, Dubai and its jaw-dropping sights have had its grand share of silver screen appearances over time. If you’re curious to know more about this, we’ve gathered here a list of some of the most amazing Hollywood movies shot in Dubai.

Hollywood Movies Shot in Dubai: Movie Name, Released Year, Location


This blockbuster political thriller woven by Stephen Gaghan is a compelling watch not only for its slick narrative and ensemble cast (comprising George Clooney, Jeffrey Wright, Matt Damon, Chris Cooper, etc.) but also for its awe-inspiring scenes filmed in over 10 countries across the world, including the Dubai’s stunning desert settings.

  • Release Year: 2005
  • Location: Desert landscape across Dubai

2. Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps

wall street money never sleeps

When Oliver Stone created the sequel of his much-acclaimed Wall Street (1987) with George Clooney and Shia LaBeouf after 23 years, he rightly chose Dubai to shoot some of the movies’ lavish sequences. And we can’t agree with him more for this apt choice.

  • Release Year: 2010
  • Location: Across Dubai’s classy sights

3. Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

mission impossible ghost protocol

This movie from the popular Mission Impossible series is probably the greatest movie ever shot in Dubai. There is one scene in the movie wherein Tom Cruise’s character, Ethan Hunt, jumps off the 828-meter Dubai Burj Khalifa, which is also the world’s tallest building. It is obviously one of the most nerve-wracking scenes of the movie. This sequence alone took more than 20 days to shoot, and more interestingly, Tom Cruise performed it himself from a whopping height of over 500 meters. The bonus is that it also captured Dubai’s impressive skyline in all its splendor.

  • Release Year: 2011
  • Location: Burj Khalifa and Palm Jumeirah

4. Star Trek Beyond

The Star Trek crew picked Dubai’s high-end cityscape to depict its futuristic Yorktown Starbase and we can’t blame them a bit. After all, Dubai is a city that is fast-paced and exceptionally stylish for its out of the ordinary architectures. Without much to dress up, Dubai perfectly matched the movie’s plot and looked visually appealing as it took the audience to the future.

  • Release Year: 2016
  • Location: Downtown, Sheik Zayed Road, and Meydan Race Track, among others

5. Fast and Furious 7

fast and furious 7

Any list of movies shot in the country is incomplete without mentioning about this movie from the Fast and Furious Franchise. Although not shot in Dubai, this movie’s some of the most thrilling parts involving a swanky Lykan HyperSport were filmed in Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Towers. Despite its heart-stopping action sequences, the movie became heart-warming for one reason as the late Paul Walker’s last movie.

  • Release Year: 2015
  • Location: Etihad Towers, Yas Island, the Emirates Palace Hotel and the Liwa Desert

Bollywood Movies Shot in Dubai

Be it to shoot thriller, romance or swanky scenes, Dubai is one of the most sought after movie locations for Bollywood cinemas outside India. It’s courtesy to its awe-inspiring multicultural environment and contrasting landscape with a mix of uber ritzy structures, quaint streets, and charming desert. So have a look at some of the most memorable Bollywood movies shot in Dubai.

Bollywood Movies Shot In Dubai: Movie Name, Release Year, Location


This movie, almost completely shot in Dubai, is an absolute fun ride, with a twisty plot and an incredible cast made up of Akshay Kumar, Anil Kapoor, Nana Patekar, Katrina Kaif and Paresh Rawal. Its sequel (Welcome Back) which came out after 8 years was even starrier and grander, featuring some of the UAE’s most captivating locations in its scenes.

  • Release Year: Welcome (2007) & Welcome Back (2015)
  • Location: Burj Khalifa, Dragon Mart, and Grand Hyatt Hotel, among others

2. Race

A super thrilling storyline, a parade of unbelievable twists, and of course the suave acts by its leading casts (Saif Ali Khan, Akshay Khanna and Anil Kapoor), made this flick a super riveting watch from start to end. And the best thing is that some of its most heart-racing sequences, including the climax car chase scenes, were shot in Dubai.

  • Release Year: 2008
  • Location: Across Dubai locations

3. Dabangg

If you think that Dubai is only apt to capture thrillers and affluent scenes, then watch this movie which is also one of Salman Khan’s most-watched and applauded movies. There is a song in the movie which romanticizes Dubai like no other. With Salman Khan and Sonakshi Sinha, it was filmed in some of the UAE’s most stunning locales, including Dubai’s desert, Burjuman Metro Station and Abu Dhabi’s opulent ever Emirates Palace Hotel.

  • Release Year: 2010
  • Location: Dubai Desert, Burjuman Metro Station and the Emirates Palace Hotel (Abu Dhabi)

4. Happy New Year

The movie’s direction, production, and cast are star-studded with some of the Bollywood’s most beloved names including Shahrukh Khan, Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachan, Boman Irani, Sonu Sood, etc. As its director Farah Khan didn’t have a second thought about the movie location, Dubai (along with its imposing sights such as Atlantis, The Palm) itself became the main character of this all-time favorite comic thriller.

  • Release Year: 2014
  • Location: Across Dubai, mainly Atlantis, The Palm, Palm Jumeirah, and the Dubai Mall

5. Hamari Adhuri Kahaani

The movie narrates the poignant story of Vasudha and Aarav played by the ever-charming Vidya Balan and Emraan Hashmi respectively. This intricate plot has some beautiful scenes filmed in Dubai, covering attractions like the stunning ever, biggest of its kind Dubai Miracle Garden, Bur Dubai, Dubai Creek, and Heritage Village. Moreover, it includes one song shot in Abu Dhabi’s Qasr Al Sarab by Anantara, which is also one of the region’s most picturesque desert resorts.

  • Release Year: 2015
  • Location: Dubai International Airport, Business Bay, Dubai Marina, Meena Bazaar, Dubai Creek, Heritage Village, Sheik Zayed Road

Movie-based Events & Awards in Dubai

Dubai also hosts a variety of prestigious movie-based events and celebrity performances throughout the year. Most prominent among them are:

  • Dubai International Film Festival (DIFF)
  • Middle East Film & Comic-Con
  • International Photography & Film Festival
  • Desert Flower International Short Film Festival
  • JLT Cinema Under The Stars


So it’s now evident from above that Dubai is a favorite of both holidaymakers and movie makers from across the world. Precisely, Dubai and its stunning locations are a treat to both the camera lens and real eyes. So apply for your Dubai visa, pack your bags and visit Dubai – it’s absolutely a treat to watch out the iconic attractions that played a major character in your favorite movie.

Rezmin is passionate about traveling and curating content about history, traditions and other intriguing aspects that make a place attractive. In her spare time, she enjoys reading fictional books sprinkled with inspiration, humor and enthusiasm.

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