Filming in Abu Dhabi
Script Clearance Procedures
Yes, you do. All scripts, treatments, storyboards, and series synopsis need to be approved by the Media Regulatory Office – in advance of any production.
ADFC is available to advise on what content is, and what is not, likely to be deemed as appropriate in terms of meeting the cultural, social, and religious sensitivities of the United Arab Emirates. In addition, to assist applicants, there is a code of content available for downloaded.
Applicants are encouraged to apply for script approval, as early as possible. ADFC’s Government Liaison Officer is available to assist in submitting the script to the MRO via the Customer Care team at twofour54. Once the Media Regulatory Office has approved the script, or otherwise, the Government Liaison Officer will notify the applicant.
All scripts, treatments, storyboards, and series synopsis need to be approved by the Media Regulatory Office in advance of any production. Contact ADFC for questions about fees but please note the duration for script approval depends on the size of the treatment – an average of 2 to 3 weeks.
Types of Filming Permits
That depends on where you are planning to film.
- If on the ground, you will require either a Public Ground Permit, or a Private Location Permit – depending on the status of the location.
- If in the air, you will require an aerial permit
- If offshore you will either require a special permit to film at, or close by oil installations; or a ground permit if you are filming elsewhere.
A Private Location Permit (a.k.a. location agreement) is for locations owned or managed by private entities, such as: hotels, leisure facilities, mosques, shopping malls, restaurants, etc.
A Public Ground Permit is for all other types of locations, such as: deserts, roads, islands, bridges, Government buildings, etc.
In order to obtain a Private Location Permit (or multiple permits, if required), you need to contact the private entity, directly. If you have issues finding the appropriate contact, you can get hold of the Production Coordinator at ADFC and he can assist you.
The Aerial Permit requires approval from two government authorities. An NOC is needed from Media Regulatory Office (MRO) by submitting the request on their E-Portal. https://www.mcy.gov.ae/ , Once Media Regulatory Office (MRO) grants the NOC. You can then apply for an Aerial Permit on General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) E-portal: https://www.gcaa.gov.ae/
This service is chargeable by the Media Regulatory Office.
Yes. The same charges apply if you are shooting photography or film.
Customs Clearance Procedures
Any company bringing equipment must have a service provider in Abu Dhabi and a project, so Abu Dhabi customs allow them in with their equipment.
Yes, there are. Upon entering the country, you will be required to supply customs with a 5% cash deposit, based on the book value of the equipment. Note; this is a cash deposit in AED. Credit cards and currencies other than AED are not accepted.
Yes, it does. If entering the country through any port other than Abu Dhabi, you will need to deal with their respective customs authority.
Yes, it does. In order to reclaim your cash deposit, you need to exit the country from the same port that you entered.
Yes, you can. However, you will be required to apply for clearance from the TRA, as well as to pay for the permit and frequency. You can obtain a TRA license by filling in the following application form and submitting the completed document to the Government Liaison Officer.
Unless the specific wireless equipment is essential to the success of your production, our recommendation would be that you hire what is required in Abu Dhabi.
Yes, you do. All international (meaning non-Emirati residents) require a valid visa to work in Abu Dhabi.
Each international member of cast and crew requires a visa that grants permission to work in Abu Dhabi for up to 90 days – with the ability to extend.
For U.A.E Visa related questions, please visit twofour54 tawasol.