What’s On has details of The Hollywood Reporter’s claim that new Star Wars film – Star Wars VII – will film scenes on Tatooine in the desert near Abu Dhabi.

It has been claimed in America that the latest installment of the Star Wars franchise could be filmed in the UAE next month.

Respected industry publication in the USA, The Hollywood Reporter, published a story over the weekend in which they revealed they’d been told a four-week shoot would take place in the desert outside Abu Dhabi in May.

Star Wars VII has been shrouded in secrecy since it was first announced. So far the only confirmed roles are that of director JJ Abrams (Star Trek, Super 8, Mission Impossible III) and Peter Mayhew back once again as Chewbacca. The likes of Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher – the original Hans Solo and Princess Leia – are only rumoured to be a part of the project, while Benedict Cumberbatch has already ruled himself out.

What is known – or at least expected- is that part of the film will be set on Tatooine, the fictional planet, home to Anakin and Luke Skywalker, which has appeared in five of the previous six installments (The Empire Strikes Back aside). Tunisia has previously been used as the location for scenes on Tatooine, yet as political unrest continues to blight the the North African country, those behind the movie have been looking for alternatives.

And now The Hollywood Reporter say they have settled on the UAE. In their report, the American news outlet say Disney had no comment to make on the claim, though that is in keeping with their attitude throughout the very secretive production phase. The new movie also will shoot at England’s Pinewood Studio.

The UAE is enjoying something of boom when it comes to blockbusters. Only this weekend, City of Life, director Ali Mostafa chose The Act at Shangri-La Hotel as the setting for a key scene in his new comedy drama, From A to B.

Meanwhile, the Fast And The Furious 7 will  begin filming in the Emirate soon. Locations of filming haven’t officially been disclosed yet, however you can be sure you’ll hear the roar of the engines even if you don’t see the cars. Teasing film fans via social media this week, star of the franchise Vin Diesel wrote on his Facebook: “P.s. About to take a long flight to Dubai, for the first time.” Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson and Ludacris also star.

Also in town is Bollywood superstar Anil Kapoor, the star of Mission Impossible 4, also shot in Dubai. Kapoor’s film Welcome Back has received permission to film on the 155th floor of the Burj Khalifa.