Permit FAQs

About DFTC

What is the Dubai Film and TV Commission and why was it established?
The Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC) was created in May 2012 through Executive Decree #16 by H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of the Executive Council. DFTC is mandated to support greater media production in Dubai. DFTC promotes Dubai as a shooting and production location to the film and television industry locally, regionally and internationally. It assists productions in Dubai by serving as a one-stop shop for producers, film crews and filmmakers to ensure that filming in Dubai is as easy and efficient as possible.


Do I need a permit to shoot in Dubai?
A shooting permit is required for all commercial media production activities in public, government-operated and privately owned and/or operated locations. Examples of such locations include outdoor and indoor shoots on streets, beaches, the metro system, public parks, car parks, shopping malls, hotels, sporting arenas, hospitals, offices, etc. Media production activities include still or moving visual and audio recordings by a production company, broadcaster or other entity.

Does the Dubai Film and TV Commission issue permits for all possible locations in Dubai?DFTC is the sole entity authorized to issue all audio and visual media production permits and to obtain related approvals from all government departments and private sector entities in Dubai. The Location Approval Services (LAS) office, which has supported the growth of the local film industry since 2005 through Dubai Studio City, now falls under DFTC. To date, LAS has facilitated more than 6,000 shooting applications, and has provided a range of support services to filmmakers.


What is the AED 520 processing fee By DFTC?
The AED 520 fee is a processing fee that is required for each application. If one application encompasses multiple permits, only one AED 500 processing fee is payable.

How does this permit fee for public locations benefit filmmakers?
This AED 2,520 permit fee for government-operated, public locations ensures that any licensed producer or broadcaster that wishes to shoot must contribute to the overall upkeep of these natural and historical settings. It also reduces the practice of guerilla filming, which can harm these settings and make it difficult for legitimate filmmakers to shoot. Ultimately, these fees will benefit filmmakers by ensuring public settings maintain their appeal for a long time to come.

Are fees fixed for every private location in Dubai?
The fixed fees for private locations (rate card) apply to the majority of private locations available for media shoots. The private locations for which permit fees are fixed include the most renowned Dubai sites operated by established entities such as Jumeirah, Emaar, Nakheel, Dubai International Financial Centre, Dubai Properties and Meydan. For other private locations, location owners may require a different fee, depending on demand and production requirements.

Do the permit fees for private locations go back to the location owners, or does the Dubai Film and TV Commission keep the fees?
DFTC collects permit fees on behalf of private location owners, and then remits all fees in their entirety to each location owner. DFTC does not keep any proceeds from fees collected for permits for private locations. Likewise, fees collected for public locations are remitted to the Dubai Government to contribute to the overall upkeep of the emirate’s natural and historical settings.

Application Process

How long does it take to obtain a public or private permit?
Once a complete application is submitted with payment, it takes 1 to 2 business days to receive a permit. In special cases, it may take longer, in which case DFTC will inform you. If a script approval is required (see below),Script  approval must first be granted before a permit application can be submitted. Script approval takes up to 25 working days to be issued. Please note that in the UAE, business days are Sunday through Thursday, with Friday and Saturday as weekend days.

Do all applicants have to submit a script with each application?
No, only applicants wishing to shoot films and TV series must submit a script with their application. DFTC will forward the script to the UAE National Media Council for approval. Once approval has been granted, applicants can submit a completed application for a shooting permit.

What kind of trade licenses must one have in order to apply for a shooting permit?
Any individual, company or entity with a trade production license issued in the UAE can apply for a shooting permit. Any individual, company or entity that does not have a UAE trade production license can either apply to obtain a license or partner with a UAE-licensed production company to obtain a shooting permit.

Are any categories of applicants exempt from these permit fees?
Yes, certain categories of applicants are exempt from permit fees depending on the entity commissioning the shoot and the genre of content being produced. 


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