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Cannes 2012: Abu Dhabi's twofour54 to Launch Production Incentives

Wayne Borg Headshot - P 2012
Getty Images

The media and creative industries hub wants to accelerate the emirate's development into a go-to place for international and regional producers with a 30 percent tax rebate.

twofour54, the media and creative industries hub of Abu Dhabi, has unveiled what it says is  the region’s first production incentives scheme as the emirate looks to accelerate Abu Dhabi's development to make it the first choice for international and regional producers.

The incentives for feature films, TV, advertising and music video productions come in the form of a rebate of up to 30 percent of the qualifying production spend and will be operational starting Sept. 1.
 
Included in the qualifying spend are goods and services sourced from Abu Dhabi and relevant expenditures on location or studio filming and post-production. Also covered are costs relating to the contracting of any United Arab Emirate-registered crew and services for work in Abu Dhabi. Plus, temporary accommodation costs in Abu Dhabi, flight tickets and freight booked on Etihad Airways will also qualify for the rebate.

“Our new incentive scheme is unique in the Middle East/North Africa (MENA) region and focused on attracting international and regional productions to Abu Dhabi,” said Wayne Borg, deputy CEO and COO of twofour54 in announcing the incentives here at the Cannes Film Festival. “This initiative reflects the culmination of our efforts to put in place all the key ingredients to reinforce our position as the regional hub and first choice, go-to place for producers."

He added: "We expect to accelerate production activity and in doing so fulfill our objective to further fuel the development of the regional media industry by providing the opportunity for Arab filmmakers, crew and production support companies to work alongside their international counterparts.”

Among the projects that have recently shot in Abu Dhabi are The Bourne Legacy starring Jeremy Renner and Rachel Weisz, which spent a few days in the emirate, Bollywood production Oru Maru Bhoomi Khatha and the BBC’s Wild Arabia.

Borg emphasized Abu Dhabi's direct access from all major cities, modern infrastructure, a bi-lingual workforce and a strong banking system as key factors that already make the emirate a great location for productions.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai