The film commission said that its USD 5 million estimate for "Happy New Year" will be followed by a more precise figure this month or next. According to a report in The National, benefits to the Emirate's economy would have included spending on hotel rooms, flights and equipment and space rentals. "Happy New Year" took three weeks to shoot and is the first full-length feature film to be shot almost entirely in the Emirates.
The film is to be released next year. The film commission expects more interest from Bollywood now with two more films already confirmed. The commission did not provide details of the additional films.
The commission worked with Shah Rukh's production company, Red Chillies Entertainment for about a year to organize the shoot. Bollywood films earlier used to choose Dubai as a location only for one or two scenes. "This is not just a dance scene, but about 80-90 per cent of the whole film that was shot in Dubai.
We had to learn the logistics. Normally we've only dealt with a maximum of 40 people who come to do a dance scene in two to five days," chairman of the film commission, Jamal Al Sharif, said. The Red Chillies team was given many incentives from Dubai International Airport, Emirates Airline and immigration authorities. The entire movie crew booked 180 rooms at the Atlantis hotel on the Palm for 25 days. "This will impact culturally on what they're doing.
They're creating jobs and we're hoping that further Bollywood films will support (our) GDP. We are expecting the next door to open for Bollywood to be in Dubai and the Middle East," Al Sharif said.
Rebates and incentives are one of the key areas of focus for the film commission as it works to attract productions to the Emirate, not just from Bollywood, but from all over the world. "We are putting together plans for the years to come to provide soft and hard incentives and rebates. Dubai is a tax-free destination and we have to take advantage of that. "We're looking to improve many things.
We have a project in Studio City which is part of a Tecom investment to build a 50,000 square foot site with a water tank. These will benefit the filmmakers," Al Sharif was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
"Dubai needs to let the world know it has the infrastructure. It is comparable to any place in the world. It is high time a lot of Indian films, not just Bollywood, should be encouraged to come here and this will be a stepping stone to showcase the beauty of Dubai and how wonderful and easy it is to shoot (here)," Shah Rukh said in Dubai last month.