twofour54 and Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC) hosted a gathering for India’s production executives in Mumbai last night to celebrate the success of Bollywood blockbuster Dishoom. The event was attended by the film’s producer, Sajid Nadiadwala, along with guests of honour Rohit Dhawan, Varun Dhawan, Jacqueline Fernandez from Dishoom; and Kulmeet Makkar, the Chief Executive Officer of The Film & Television Producers Guild of India.
During the event, Sajid Nadiadwala announced the DVD release of Dishoom and joined director Rohit Dhawan and cast members Varun Dhawan and Jacqueline Fernandez to participate in a panel discussion about their experience filming in Abu Dhabi. Rohit Dhawan highlighted the quality of the support infrastructure in Abu Dhabi and the easy access to government entities and locations facilitated by ADFC; while actors Jacqueline Fernandez, John Abraham and Varun Dhawan commented on the superb hospitality and facilities on offer.
Speaking at the event, Acting CEO of twofour54, Maryam Al Mheiri, said: “We value the contribution of Bollywood to the production industry and we are here in Mumbai to showcase what Abu Dhabi can offer as a filming destination. Abu Dhabi is an ideal location for Indian productions, given its close proximity, strong transport links, diverse filming locations and the production expertise available through twofour54. This event is another step in strengthening the relationship between Abu Dhabi and India’s vibrant and dynamic film production industry.”
Abu Dhabi has successfully served as the backdrop for several Bollywood films, most recently Dishoom, which filmed at 26 locations in the city over 38 filming days. This followed successful shoots in 2014 with Baby and Bang Bang! where twofour54 provided production services and as a result built up considerable understanding of the unique Bollywood format. While visiting the Dishoom set in Abu Dhabi, Sajid Nadiadwala, whose family have been in the industry for 60 years, commented that Abu Dhabi was a very film-friendly place and provided a great experience for his director, actors and producers.
Abu Dhabi has been steadily building its film and television production infrastructure to enable the Emirate to attract and service large scale productions as well as more niche projects. twofour54 offers six studios as well as post production facilities unmatched anywhere else in the region. In March, Bollywood lighting specialists, Light N Light, joined the twofour54 media campus after choosing Abu Dhabi as the location for their expansion into the Middle East, further enhancing the Emirate’s industry infrastructure.
In addition to Bollywood, Abu Dhabi has also attracted Hollywood blockbusters including Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Fast & Furious 7 as well Brad Pitt’s latest production, War Machine. Global television programmes The Bold and the Beautiful and BBC’s Top Gear have also been filmed in the Emirate.