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Organizers of the Dubai International Film Festival may well be hoping there isn’t a mass exodus of film fans on the final day of the Middle East event.
In an announcement made Tuesday, Abu Dhabi, just an hour’s drive away, was revealed as the host for the regional premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens on Dec. 16., the same day DIFF draws to a close.
Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates, had indeed been expected to claim hosting rights for the pic, having provided its second major shooting location after the U.K.’s Pinewood Studios. A vast film set in the sand dunes was created for a 10-day shoot on the “frontier desert planet” of Jakku that took place in May of last year.
But with the region’s biggest film festival taking place just up the road, there had been some talk that Dubai might have been able to entice The Force Awakens into its screening schedule.
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