The silver screen loves the City of Gold…

Futuristic neighbourhoods, glittering skyscrapers, golden desert sands. If you’ve ever thought Dubai looked a lot like a movie set, well, you’re not alone.

Our beloved emirate has well and truly caught the attention of Hollywood’s location scouts in recent years, providing the backdrop for a number of blockbusters.

Whether we’re under attack from angry aliens or being destroyed by an unexpected tidal wave, we love seeing our city on the big screen.

Here are six times Dubai had a starring role in a movie.

Video: Here’s the movie Jackie Chan filmed in Dubai
Tracking the trekkies: The Star Trek Beyond cast in Dubai


Dubai is one of several major cities that meet their doom in Hollywood’s latest disaster flick, which tells the story of a satellite designer who must save the world from a seriously epic storm. Not even the Burj Khalifa is spared from the watery wrath of a tsunami that rises up from the Arabian Gulf, engulfing the world’s tallest building.


The poor old Burj Khalifa is once again the target in this sci-fi blockbuster. This time, it’s vengeful aliens wreaking havoc on Earth, and one of their tantrums involves plucking the Burj from its spot from Downtown Dubai and throwing it at London, where it lands in the River Thames. Yes, really.


Dubai’s futuristic cityscape plays a leading role in the latest Star Trek movie, providing the backdrop for Starbase Yorktown. Sheikh Zayed Road, the Burj Al Arab, and the Meydan Racetrack are among the locations to feature in the film, and even the JLT metro station has a cameo appearance.


The nail-biting stunt where Tom Cruise scales the Burj Khalifa is arguably one of the coolest action sequences in movie history. Filming the Dubai scenes took 23 days, and more than 400 crew members were on hand to make sure nothing went wrong.


The sequel to the 1987 film, Wall Street, tells the story of an ex-conman attempting to rebuild his empire. Most of the movie centres around mischievous characters doing dastardly deeds – but we also get a glimpse of the glamorous life the protagonists lead. Not surprisingly, they chose Dubai for the ultra-opulent shots.

SYRIANA (2005)

The Middle Eastern oil industry forms the backdrop of this tense drama, starring Hollywood heavyweights George Clooney and Matt Damon. While much of the action in the film takes place in Iran, many of the desert scenes were actually shot in Dubai’s dunes.

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