Shivangi Shukla, Columnist
Dubai and Bollywood connect has not been very elegant and sober in the days of yore, but much water has flown down the Thames and today for many filmmakers Dubai is to them what Switzerland was to Yash Chopra. Over the years, Dubai has emerged as a favoutite destination for filmmakers.
Indian filmmakers in the past have shown Dubai in poor light highlighting the murky link of Bollywood with the underworld. There’s no doubt that the bond between Dubai and Bollywood is only getting steamier in recent times. Be it the car chase in “Race”, or the romantic songs of “Dabbang”, they all have been shot here. The Emirati skyline and locations are a regular feature of Bollywood movies now. Over the years, the UAE has proved to be a lucrative filming destination for Bollywood filmmakers and they don’t limit themselves to songs or climax scenes. Salman Khan and Katrina, for instance, set aside 65 days to shoot in Abu Dhabi for their latest film, Tiger Zinda Hai and now salman has started shooting for next film Race 3 in the same deserted landscape.
But it’s not the first time that the UAE is playing host to these big projects and stars.letstake a look at some of the films that have left their footprints here ...
Mein ne Pyar Kyu Kiya: It is a 2005 Bollywood romantic-comedy, starring Katrina Kaif, Sushmita Sen and Salman Khan in the lead roles. The movie includes a scene shot at the Grand Hyatt Dubai, and the song Teri Meri Love Story was also filmed here.
Happy New Year One of the highest grossing Bollywood films of all times, Happy New Year starred Shah Rukh Khan, DeepikaPadukone, Abhishek Bachchan, BomanIrani, SonuSood, Vivaan Shah and Jackie Shroff and was shot almost entirely in Dubai. Director Farah Khan says that she wrote the script for the 2014 film with Dubai in mind, specifically its climax, which was centred around New Year’s Eve at Atlantis, The Palm. The film also became one of the biggest projects in terms of local casting, with more than 1,600 extras cast from across the UAE.
Director SiddharthAnand’s 2014 remake of the Tom Cruise-Cameron Diaz film Knight and Day, featuring Hrithik Roshan and Katrina Kaif, was the first Bollywood project to be filmed and co-produced largely in Abu Dhabi and the locations were the Corniche, Liwa Oasis, Hyatt Capital Gate hotel, Qasr Al Sarab, Emirates Palace and Yas Island. One of the most exciting segments was a car chase involving 120 cars, including Formula One cars.
Welcome and Welcome Back
One of the highest grossers in 2007, Welcome includes a number of scenes and a song filmed in Dubai. The comic moments include a scene in which Uday (Nana Patekar) throws a lavish bash at the Grand Hyatt Hotel which is Dubai and there few scenes in the expansive shopping mall, Dragon Mart too. Whereas the sequel to the 2007 blockbuster has the distinction of being the first Indian film to be shot at the iconic BurjKhalifa. The story was also set in Dubai and the cast spent several weeks filming around the UAE in locations including the JumeirahZabeelSaray, the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, the Meydan Hotel and the Sofitel Dubai — the Palm Resort and Spa.
Hamari Adhuri Kahani
The film which did not do much nicely on screen but manage to showcase the UAE beautifully. Theromantic-drama, directed by MohitSuri, starred Emraan Hashmi, VidyaBalan and Rajkummar Rao and had a 16-day shooting schedule in Dubai. Among the locations featured in the film was Meena Bazaar, Dubai Creek, Dubai International Airport and Miracle Garden. Some of the most stunning sequences, including the song Hasi Ban Gaye, were shot at Qasr Al Sarab in the Liwa Desert.
Baby A spy-thriller Baby, directed by Neeraj Pandey and starring Akshay Kumar, Danny Denzongpa, Anupam Kher, Rana Daggubati and TaapseePannu, some of the scenes were shot in UAE that to majorily in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and Liwa
Airlift Akshay Kumar starrer Airlift is one of the latest films to have been shot in the UAE where Ras Al Khaimahhas been dressed up as 1990 Kuwait and there were several scenes that were filmed at the Al Hamra Palace Beach Resort there.
Partner Is one such movie starring Salman Khan and Govinda who entertain you to the fullest. The stunning lady lead Katrina Kaif steals the show with her moves. She plays the role of a lady with power, she owns a business, and to reflect her power and status, her office is established in the Chelsea Towers, Dubai. Dubai has the perfect glam for both leisure and business. The famous song that played on loop post its release, ‘You’re my love, Janeja you’re my love’ , was shot in Media city, Dubai. One can’t deny that Dubai and its beauty does add to the appeal of the movie. Another famous song from the film, ‘Maria Maria’ was shot at the grand Emirates Palace Hotel. The complete song captures the beautiful palace hotel as a backdrop, and it is indeed a treat to the eyes
Awara Pagal Dewana
The 2005 Bollywood romantic comedy starring Akshay Kumar, Suniel Shetty, Shahid Kapoor, Rimi Sen and PareshRawal was filmed in Dubai and Ras Al Khaimah. While the climax, a stunt-filled fight scene, was captured at the Awafi desert in Ras Al Khaimah, there were a few other scenes shot at a villa in Barsha, Dubai.
(The views expressed are personal)