Hollywood producers are in Dubai for talks regarding the possibility of filming part of the Tom Cruise blockbuster Mission Impossible IV in the emirate, it was reported on Monday.
Executives from Paramount Pictures are in discussions with Dubai film authorities regarding the fourth installment of the Mission Impossible spy franchise starring Tom Cruise, according to a report in The National newspaper.
While Paramount Pictures has declined to comment, a source within the studio told the newspaper executives were in discussions to film in the UAE.
“I’ve heard they are in town and are scouting [for locations]. They are in serious discussions with [Dubai] Studio City,” Ziad Batal, the executive producer of production company All 4 Media, was quoted as saying.
However, Jamal al Sharif, the executive director of Dubai Studio City, declined to confirm the rumours.
While big budget films such as 'Syriana' and 'The Kingdom' have been filmed in the UAE, recent discussions with executives from blockbusters such as 'Sex and the City 2', 'Body of Lies' and 'The A-Team' have proved fruitless.
While 'Sex and the City 2' was refused filming permission due to objections to the contents of its script, other discussions have broken down due to the lack of incentives offered to film makers by UAE authorities.
In April, ahead of the Gulf Film Festival 2010, Tim Smythe, CEO of the Dubai-based Filmworks production firm, told Arabian Business it is “critical” the UAE government offers incentives for foreign filmmakers to shoot in the UAE if the country’s fledgling movie industry is to survive.
“If you want Arab cinema you have to do something like this,” said Smythe, who was a producer of the award-winning ‘City of Life’, the first movie set and filmed in Dubai.
However, he warned that while most countries around the world offer so-called ‘soft money’ in the form of tax breaks and financial incentives to attract productions to their shores, the lack of any such provision in the UAE means producers opt for other locations, such as Morocco or Tunisia.
“There is no structure set up for soft money in this country. [Its establishment] is critical. If they want to have a film industry, that is critical,” Smythe said.
Smythe added that movies filmed in the UAE would boost the local economy, to the extent that for every dollar invested in a film in the country, another seven dollars would be invested in accommodation, production costs and jobs.