You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Dubai Film Market the Go-To Spot for Middle East Biz

Dubai’s politically calm oasis boosts market’s attraction

Seven years after its launch, the Dubai Film Market is steadily reinforcing its role as the Arab world’s prime film business hub, with more movies than ever — some 400 from the Gulf region and elsewhere — unspooling in its Cinetech video library screening series this year. Spurred by this growth, the mart has become known as the go-to place for anyone who wants to network and do deals in the Middle East.

This is partly because the United Arab Emirates — the federation of which Dubai is a member — is an oasis of calm amid chaos and unrest in other Arab-speaking countries. But the main factor is that Dubai is the only Middle East fest with a market of such wide-ranging scope.

“The film industry across the region has been in a shaky position with all that’s been happening, hence they look at Dubai as the best place to meet, catch up and do business,” said Dubai mart manager Samr Al Marzooqi.

What’s key are its different components dedicated to every stage of the filmmaking process: the Interchange training program for young helmer-scribe-producer teams; the Dubai Film Connection, which is the largest co-production mart between Europe and the Arab world; and the post-production fund Enjaaz.

More than 240 Arab pics have tapped into these initiatives.

The Dubai mart is also unveiling a Dubai Docs section showcasing documentaries from the region at a time when unscripted dramas from young Arab helmers are getting more international notice.

Though it’s a prime platform for pics from Asia and Africa — areas with which the Arab film world has close cultural and industry ties — building bridges with Europe is a major mission.

After forging ties last year with the Venice Film Market and European Union co-prod entity Eurimages, Dubai in 2013 is partnering with Germany’s Robert Bosch foundation in a move aimed at fostering more co-prods between Arab and Teutonic filmmakers.

(Pictured: Director Haifaa Al Mansour’s “Wadjda,” which was released in the U.S. by Sony Pictures Classics, tapped into funds at last year’s Dubai Flm Market.)

More Biz

  • Merger Angst Warner Media

    WarnerMedia Staffers Brace for Cuts, Cultural Shifts Amid Mega-Merger

    Seven years after its launch, the Dubai Film Market is steadily reinforcing its role as the Arab world’s prime film business hub, with more movies than ever — some 400 from the Gulf region and elsewhere — unspooling in its Cinetech video library screening series this year. Spurred by this growth, the mart has become […]

  • Bob Iger arrives at the Oscars,

    Bob Iger: Disney Has 'Much Better' Chance of Closing Fox Deal Than Comcast

    Seven years after its launch, the Dubai Film Market is steadily reinforcing its role as the Arab world’s prime film business hub, with more movies than ever — some 400 from the Gulf region and elsewhere — unspooling in its Cinetech video library screening series this year. Spurred by this growth, the mart has become […]

  • Brian Roberts, Bob Iger Battle Over

    Brian Roberts and Bob Iger Go Head-to-Head in the Battle for Fox

    Seven years after its launch, the Dubai Film Market is steadily reinforcing its role as the Arab world’s prime film business hub, with more movies than ever — some 400 from the Gulf region and elsewhere — unspooling in its Cinetech video library screening series this year. Spurred by this growth, the mart has become […]

  • A View of a Sign at

    Disney Ups Fox Bid to $71.3 Billion, Outflanking Comcast

    Seven years after its launch, the Dubai Film Market is steadily reinforcing its role as the Arab world’s prime film business hub, with more movies than ever — some 400 from the Gulf region and elsewhere — unspooling in its Cinetech video library screening series this year. Spurred by this growth, the mart has become […]

  • Sydney Holland

    Sumner Redstone's Ex-Fiancee Settles Lurid Elder Abuse Lawsuit

    Seven years after its launch, the Dubai Film Market is steadily reinforcing its role as the Arab world’s prime film business hub, with more movies than ever — some 400 from the Gulf region and elsewhere — unspooling in its Cinetech video library screening series this year. Spurred by this growth, the mart has become […]

  • poses backstage during the Songwriters Hall

    Cara Hutchison Promoted to Vice President at Rogers & Cowan

    Seven years after its launch, the Dubai Film Market is steadily reinforcing its role as the Arab world’s prime film business hub, with more movies than ever — some 400 from the Gulf region and elsewhere — unspooling in its Cinetech video library screening series this year. Spurred by this growth, the mart has become […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content