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Cinema of the United Arab Emirates

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Title: Cinema of the United Arab Emirates  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Education in the United Arab Emirates, Demographics of the United Arab Emirates, Geography of the United Arab Emirates, Music of the United Arab Emirates, Sport in the United Arab Emirates
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Cinema of the United Arab Emirates

Cinema of the United Arab Emirates
Number of screens 255 (2010)[1]
 • Per capita 3.2 per 100,000 (2010)[1]
Number of admissions (2011)[2]
Total 12,600,000
Gross Box Office (2012)[3]
Total $119 million

Life in the UAE
Human rights

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.

In 2008 Emirati director Majid Abdulrazak produced a film version of Wilfred Thesiger's Arabian Sands which was self-funded and employed actors from the UAE and Oman in most of the major roles. The film has since been released on DVD by Viva Entertainment.

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.[4] It came out on DVD on 25 September 2013.

Emirati feature films

  • Al-Hilm (The Dream) (2005) Nawaf Al-Janahi
  • Tarab Fashion (2006) Mohamed Daham
  • Haneen (2006) Mohammad Al-Traifi
  • Menahi (2008)
  • Arabian Sands (2008) Majid Abdulrazak
  • Al Dayra (The Circle) (2009) Nawaf Al-Janahi
  • Henna (2009) Saleh Karama
  • City of Life (2009) Ali F. Mostafa
  • Sea Shadow (2011) Nawaf Al-Janahi
  • A to B (2013) Ali F. Mostafa
  • Three (2013) Nayla Al Khaja
  • Banat Fahma (2013) Abdulla Al Kaabi

Emirati short films

  • The Sons of Two Suns (2013) S.A.Zaidi & Ghanem Ghubash
  • The Fallen (2008) Mohammed Mamdouh
  • 100 Miles (2007) Mustafa Abbas
  • Ahlam Fi Sundook (Dreams In A Box; 2003)
  • Al-Rumram (1994)
  • Ala Tareeq (On A Road; 2003)
  • Amen (2005)
  • Arabana (2006) Nayla Al Khaja
  • Arwaah (Souls; 2004)
  • Aushba's Well (2004)
  • Cigarettes (2004)
  • The Confrontation (1998)
  • Hajess (Obsession; 2002)
  • Mirrors of Silence (2006)
  • Signs of the Dead (2005)
  • Under the Sun (2005) Ali F. Mostafa
  • Once (2008) Nayla Al Khaja
  • Levity Xero Error Minus1 (2010) Ashraf Ghori
  • Malal (Bored; 2010) Nayla Al Khaja
  • F=ma (2012) Experimental Short [5]

Films shot in the United Arab Emirates

Emirati directors

See also


  1. ^ a b "Table 8: Cinema Infrastructure - Capacity". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  2. ^ "Table 11: Exhibition - Admissions & Gross Box Office (GBO)". UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  3. ^ "International Box Office: 13 Hot Emerging Markets". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 9 November 2013. 
  4. ^ in The National newspaper, 15 May 2012Sea ShadowArticle about
  5. ^ F=ma' - Experimental Short by Jaffer Shadiq.Z"'". YouTube. Retrieved 2012-11-08. 
  6. ^ "Dam 999 movie to start shooting in Dubai Hong-kong". 
  7. ^ "DAM 999, another page for the Guinness book". Retrieved 11 June 2010. 

External links

  • Article about the UAE short film movement
  • Article about the UAE short film movement
  • The Killer (2006 film)
  • Article on the 'Emerging Emirati' movement
  • Al Jazeera article on 'Al-Hilm'
  • IMDB entry for the UAE
  • The CircleIMDB entry for
  • Cinemas in the UAE - TEN Movies
  • official film websiteCity of Life
  • official film websiteSea Shadow
  • Gulf Film Festival website
  • Dubai International Film Festival website
  • Abu Dhabi Film Festival Official website
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