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Shah Rukh Khan shoots first Bollywood film at NEOM

NEOM has hosted about 26 projects, including Hollywood film Desert Warrior, directed by Rupert Wyatt, starring Hollywood actor Anthony Mackie

Shah Rukh Khan shoots first Bollywood film at NEOM
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

NEOM is becoming a major film and TV production hub. Recently, Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan filmed his upcoming feature film Dunki, which is set in various parts of the world, in the sprawling region along the Red Sea coast in Tabuk, Saudi Arabia.

The announcement came during the second edition of the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah, when Wayne Borg, the managing director of NEOM, said, “it was significant,” both in terms of “the scale of production that it brings” and as an “entree to start demonstrating to the Indian market what we can offer.”

“A very big Shukran to #SaudiArabiaMinistryOfCulture, the team and all who made this shoot schedule of #Dunki so smooth,” Khan posted on Instagram.

In the past 18 months, NEOM has hosted roughly 26 projects, including Desert Warrior, directed by Rupert Wyatt and starring Hollywood actor Anthony Mackie. 

There are reports that the 200-episode-a-year Saudi soap opera Exceptional, produced by MBC, will also be filmed at NEOM.

NEOM, which offers a 40%-plus cash rebate production scheme, has built a solid infrastructure and is becoming a highly competitive proposition for international productions. NEOM Media Village currently features one 2,400-square-meter, state-of-the-art sound stage, complete with back-of-house facilities. At Bajdah Desert Studios, there are two 3,000-square-meter sound stages, with a further four scheduled to come online by the end of 2022.

“Clearly, production incentives play a vital role in terms of attracting productions but are best leveraged when the entire package is in place: infrastructure, on-the-ground international production expertise, crew depth, and ease of doing business,” Borg stated earlier.

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