How to Get Permission for Filming in Dubai

Dubai is unquestionably a perfect place to shoot a film, documentary, drama or anything related to this. But the first and the foremost thing to consider is filming permission. In order to film in a public place, you need to have filming permission otherwise you will have to face some serious problems. You will be taken to the police station, being questioned and probably face detention for some time. Besides, your equipment will also be confiscated. Depending on the situation, you might also be deported. Moreover, if a representative from a local production company is with you and you do not have permission, that company’s trade license will be canceled and it will be banned to do business in the future. In order to avoid such tragedies, you have to take permission from local authorities.

There is a government agency in Dubai known as Location Approval Services (LAS) that deals with these types of permission applications. Only registered companies in Dubai are eligible for filing the application.

Getting permission is a straightforward process. The process will hardly take 3 to 5 working days. But to be on the safe side, make your mind for 15 working days. This step by step guide will educate you about how to get permission for filming in Dubai.


  • 1

    Find a company for filing permission

    The first step is to find an appropriate company that is registered in Dubai Studio City. This company will apply for the permission on your behalf. Most of the companies are not allowed to do this unless they have proper crew on the job. This is because if any unpleasant event happens during the shoot that upsets the authorities and the company’s license will be canceled.

    Note: You cannot apply on your own, and you have to rely on an eligible company to submit the application for you.

  • 2

    Fee charges

    You have to pay around $550 to that company for submitting your application to Location Approval Services (LAS).

  • 3

    Passport copies of all crew

    After that you to submit passport copies of all crew to the relevant authorities. Provide clear and color copies of all crew passports. In addition, you have to provide a no objection confirmation letter in which you have to mention that you are satisfied with the company applying for the permission on your behalf.

  • 4

    Write an application letter

    Write a clear and simple application letter, requesting for permission. A sample letter is given below for your convenience;


    Sample of Letter to Location Approval Services UAE for Filming


    To whom it may concern:

    We are working with ABC LLC, on a commercial shoot for a short documentary about Asian Expats in Dubai. We will be shooting in the following locations across Dubai, and would require your permission to film from September 20, 2012 to October 19, 2012:

    Palm Triology

    Jumeirah Beach

    Burj Khalifa

    Following is the list of our crew members:

    Amit Singh [Cameraman]

    Saleem Hasan [Director]

    Rahul Johar [Lighting Man]

    Peter Jackson [Anchor]

    Attached is the storyboard and script that we will be working and we'll make sure to fulfill the local laws and morals of the United Arab Emirates.

    We will be seeking a positive response and cooperation from your side.

    Kind Regards,

  • 5

    Treatments and storyboards

    Make sure that your script will be reading non-native English speakers, so you have to make your script clear, concise and specific. If you are having a complex script, it will certainly take more time for approval.

    Note: Your content should not be against Islam or it will not be portraying a negative image of the UAE. For more information regarding filming rules in Dubai, follow the link.

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