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twofour54 to build a major film studio in Abu Dhabi

The complex will house soundstages, standing sets, and be equipped with a range of production amenities, including post-production and screening rooms.

twofour54 to build a major film studio in Abu Dhabi
[Source photo: twofour54 | Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

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Of late, after targeting a share in the media industry, Abu Dhabi has been seeking to turn itself into a hub for content creation to rival and complement other Arab and Western capitals.

Catering to the rising demand in the regional and global production landscape, Abu-Dhabi based twofour54, plans to construct a production studio, a state-of-the-art, future-proof, virtual production-ready, and metaverse-enabled destination, it said in a statement. The complex is set to cover 100 acres of land and will house 11 soundstages and six standing sets. Alongside these facilities, the development will also feature 7,000 square meters of office space, equipped with a range of production amenities, including post-production and screening rooms.

The announcement comes as Abu Dhabi steadily establishes itself as a destination for major international productions, largely attributed to the introduction of its 30% tax rebate incentive. Mega productions like 6 Underground, Sonic The Hedgehog, Dune, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fast & Furious 7, and most recently, Mission: Impossible – Dead Reckoning Part One, were filmed in Abu Dhabi.  The seventh installment of the Mission: Impossible franchise was filmed in Abu Dhabi’s stunning Liwa desert and the newly constructed Midfield Terminal airport building, with support from the Abu Dhabi Film Commission.

The capital city has also solidified its appeal as a top choice for high-profile Bollywood productions, benefiting from its proximity to India. Notable Indian productions, including Bharat and Tiger Zinda Hai, have already utilized the city’s versatile locations.

“The creative industries have been identified as one of Abu Dhabi’s priority sectors given the important economic and social value they create,” Humaid Matar Al Dhaheri, Board Member, Managing Director, and CEO of ADNEC Group, said. Al Dhaheri emphasized that twofour54 Studios is a step towards achieving Abu Dhabi’s vision of becoming a leading global destination for content creation. The completion of the project in 2025 is expected to generate numerous job opportunities and make a substantial contribution to the local economy.

Mark Whitehead, CEO of twofour54, also shared his thoughts on the venture, highlighting the outfit’s extensive experience and expertise in the global film industry over the last 15 years. Leveraging this knowledge, twofour54 identified a crucial opportunity in the MENA region – the demand for an integrated, future-ready production hub. Whitehead reiterated the organization’s commitment to nurturing creativity and providing a world-class platform for visionary filmmakers to bring their cinematic dreams to life.

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