‘Baby’ and ‘Bang Bang’ help boost tourism in Emirates

Superstar Akshay Kumar-starrer Baby and Hrithik Roshan’s Bang Bang have encouraged tourism in Abu Dhabi, the capital of United Arab Emirates, according to its Film Commission.

“Once Bang Bang and Baby were released we have noticed a spike in number of tourists and when Fast & Furious 7 was released in early April, this really put Abu Dhabi on the tourism map,” Michael Flanningan, the head of Abu Dhabi Film Commission told PTI here.

“In 2014, a study was commissioned that outlined the potential tourism impact from productions in Abu Dhabi.” Flannigan said film-induced tourism will be a focus for the local tourism authority.

Approximately two years ago, the Abu Dhabi Film Commission introduced a 30% cash-back rebate on production spend in the Emirate.

This incentive is applicable to accommodation, transport, crew, kit and even flights to Abu Dhabi and unlike most production rebates, it also applies to both feature films and a wide range of TV formats.

“Due to our close proximity to India, our rebate incentive and our variety of locations – from deserts, to coastlines from Arabic culture to ultra modern architecture we see the market of Bollywood films to Abu Dhabi only increasing.

“The fact we can cater for a large number of film genres from action to comedy to science-fiction and more,” Flanningan said.

There are few Bollywood films that will be shot in Abu Dhabi but Flanningan is not ready to reveal details.

“At this stage we have a few films in the pipeline to film in Abu Dhabi from both Bollywood and Hollywood. In fact in October this year, we are planning to facilitate the largest Bollywood production that Abu Dhabi has seen with more than one month’s filming scheduled over the entire Emirate.