Bollywood movies shot in GCC countries

Favourite destinations of Bollywood filmmakers
2022-04-22
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/ New Delhi
/ Film
Bollywood movies shot in GCC countries

Over time, film-makers have also tried to use other destinations rather than Dubai to shoot films (Photo: Gordon Cowie/Unsplash)

Many film makers in Bollywood have long chosen the Gulf Cooperation Council countries as their preferred locations for making their films.
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For many years, Dubai was the go-to destination in the Arab world for Bollywood film makers, driven by the ease of access, proximity and the openness of the Dubai society, compared with many other Arab countries, including neighbouring members of the Gulf Cooperation Council. But over time, film-makers have also tried to use other destinations within the region as the location for their films, broadening their range to other GCC nations. With its extensive deserts, charming landscape, unparalleled architectural landmarks, beautiful culture and history, the GCC offers a great backdrop to films for all genres in Bollywood.

Here’s a list of 5 Bollywood movies that were shot in GCC countries to execute larger than life scenes.

Happy New Year (2014), Dubai

Happy New Year’s title references the amazing celebrations that Dubai organises for New Year

Produced by Red Chillies Entertainments, Happy New Year (2014) is one of the most popular action-comedy heist film shot in Dubai and directed by Farah Khan.

With an all-star cast Deepika Padukone, Abhishek Bachchan, Boman Irani, Jackie Shroff, Sonu Sood and Shah Rukh Khan, Dubai was not just the main location for the shoot of this movie but had also served as a pivotal plot point in the film’s narrative.

The movie is about an odd group of people who help the protagonist (Shahrukh Khan) avenge his father’s death, through participating in a dance competition. As the group travels to the city to fulfil their mission, Dubai was used as a backdrop for many sequences.

Most of the shooting took place at Atlantis, the Palm and the Dubai Mall. The movie’s title also references the amazing celebrations that Dubai organises for New Year.

 Welcome (2007), Dubai

Welcome was one of the highest grossers in 2007

Yet another film to be shot in Dubai, Welcome produced by Firoz Nadiadwala and directed by Anees Bazmee, is one of the highest grossers in 2007 crime film that includes a number of scenes and a song filmed in Dubai.

Starring mega stars like Akshay Kumar, Nana Patekar, Anil Kapoor and Katrina Kaif, Welcome follows the story of two thugs who meet Rajiv (Akshay Kumar) from a respectable family, and want to fix their sister’s wedding with him. However, when Rajiv’s uncle refuses to the match, a series of hilarious situations occur.

The film includes hilarious scenes from when Uday (Nana Patekar) throws a lavish party at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and the setting for Majnu’s (Anil Kapoor) confrontation with Dr Ghungroo (Paresh Rawal) in the extensive shopping mall, Dragon Mart.

Welcome Back (2015), the sequel to the 2007 blockbuster, was also set in Dubai and is distinctive for being the first Indian film to be shot at the iconic Burj Khalifa. Other locations of the film include the Jumeirah Zabeel Saray, the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm Jumeirah, the Meydan Hotel and the Sofitel Dubai — the Palm Resort and Spa.

Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara (2013), Oman

Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara (2013) is a crime action thriller that was extensively shot in Oman

Once Upon a Time in Mumbai Dobaara (2013) is a crime action thriller that was extensively shot in Oman and directed by Milan Luthria, following a collaboration between Balaji Telefilms and Oman’s Ministry of Tourism.
The film starring Akshay Kumar, Sonakshi Sinha and Imran Khan follows the story of Shoaib (Akshay Kumar) who becomes the new mafia leader after killing his mentor, Sultan Mirza. While visiting the area where he grew up, he meets Aslam, who becomes his accomplice. But trouble ensues when they both fall in love with the same woman, Jasmine (Sonakshi Sinha).

Once Upon A Time in Mumbai Dobaara was shot at the Qantab Beach, Qurum Corniche, Central Business District and the Shangri-La Barr Al Jissah Resort & Spa in Oman.

Bunty Aur Babli 2 (2021), Abu Dhabi

Bunty Aur Babli 2 (2021) is a crime comedy sequel to Bunty Aur Babli (2005)

Bunty Aur Babli 2 (2021) is a crime comedy produced by Aditya Chopra and written and directed by Varun V Sharma and has many scenes shot in Abu Dhabi.

Bunty Aur Babli 2 is a sequel film to 2005 film, Bunty Aur Babli that starred Rani Mukerji and Abhishek Bachchan. Bunty Aur Babli 2 stars Rani Mukerji along with Saif Ali Khan. The story is that in order to teach a lesson to the new Bunty and Babli, the old Bunty and Babli plans a robbery.

The film had shot lengthy sequences across two pivotal locations – Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club and the Emirates Palace, also in Abu Dhabi.

Airlift (2016), Ras Al Khaimah

Airlift (2016) is an action, war, thriller drama featuring scenes shot in Ras Al Khaimah (Photo: IMDB.com)

Directed by Raja Menon, Airlift (2016) is an action, war, thriller drama featuring scenes shot in Ras Al Khaimah. The film was jointly produced by Abundantia Entertainment, Cape of Good Films, Emmay Entertainment, Hari Om Entertainment, T-Series and Viacom 18.

The film revolves around Ranjit Katyal (Akshay Kumar), a wealthy and powerful Indian businessman, who helps evacuate 1,70,000 people from Kuwait to India during the first Gulf War in 1990.

The first schedule of the film was shot in Al-Hamra Palace Beach Resort and RAK airport in Ras Al Khaimah to re-create and depict Kuwait in 1990.

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