Salman Khan brings Iraq to Abu Dhabi for 'Tiger Zinda Hai'
Raking up record-breaking numbers on YouTube ever since its trailer released last week, Ali Abbas Zafar's second outing with Salman Khan, Tiger Zinda Hai, appears promising. Given that the film is loosely based on the rescue of 46 Indian nurses from the Islamic state in Tikrit, Iraq, where procuring permission to shoot is difficult, Zafar had to recreate the city in Abu Dhabi instead.
Salman Khan in Tiger Zinda Hai
The populous city of UAE, says Zafar, offered all the essentials he deemed necessary for the recreation of Iraq. "The sand dunes and vast stretches of desert proved to be advantageous in recreating certain textures. We have shot in temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius on certain days, [which also helped in enhancing the cinematic experience]," says Zafar.
The filmmaker credits the government of UAE for facilitating an easy shooting schedule over 40 days. "The army and air force provided us with tanks, choppers and trucks for key action sequences. The support that they offered became a primary reason for us to agree to shoot there." Asserting that at approximately 20,000 sq-ft, his set would be among the biggest ones built by an Indian filmmaker on foreign land, Zafar says that at any given point in time, a minimum of 100 people were working on constructing, dismantling or enhancing different parts of it.
Ali Abbas Zafar (in blue) on the set in Abu Dhabi
Zafar adds that the presence of an on-ground technical crew, which has worked on several big-budget films, including Felicity Jones-starrer Rogue One (2016), and the availability of suitable film equipment in Abu Dhabi, were other deciding factors in zeroing in on the location.