Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Tom Cruise and other actors and executives discuss the filming of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol while making a stop at the Armani Hotel in Dubai yesterday.
Tom Cruise and other actors and executives discuss the filming of Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol while making a stop at the Armani Hotel in Dubai yesterday.

Tom Cruise and Co descend on Dubai

It is now time for lights, cameras and much action for the Dubai star in the next Mission: Impossible chapter.

DUBAI // The crew had been preparing for weeks. Then Tom Cruise jetted in and the long-awaited filming of the fourth instalment of the Mission: Impossible series - the biggest movie to be shot in Dubai thus far - kicked into high gear.

Even as Cruise, who starred in the three previous spy thrillers in the series, took a break from production to unveil the official name of the movie - Mission: Impossible Ghost Protocol - crew members were working at various locations to prepare sets for him and co-stars Jeremy Renner and Paula Patton.

"We're very excited to be here in this beautiful city," he said. "It's a city I've always wanted to shoot in. It's very cinematic."

Also just arrived are the director, Brad Bird, the executive producer, Jeffrey Chernov, and Bryan Burk, the producer. They all resumed their work shortly after the announcement of the film's name, said a spokesman for the Dubai Government media office.

Filming will start next week and is likely to last more than three weeks. It will take place in locations across Dubai, including the Burj Khalifa and the Meydan racetrack, said an industry insider, who asked not to be named. Car chases will be filmed on the Sheikh Zayed Road and in Bur Dubai and Deira, the source said.

More than 400 crew members are expected to follow a tight schedule. They have much to do in relatively little time, said Cruise, who is co-producing the film in addition to playing the lead role of Ethan Hunt, an American spy.

Even the 1,500 extras picked to appear in the film will put in 12-plus hour days, not including the time needed to get to and from the set or take a break to eat. They will earn Dh500 a day for their effort. A dozen interns and observers chosen from the local television and film industry to participate in a knowledge-transfer programme will be expected to work around the clock.

For Dubai, the arrival of Cruise and company is a filming victory it has been vying for years. The emirate established Dubai Studio City in 2005 as a one-stop shop for all things film production in an attempt to persuade foreign studios to make movies here.

It all came together when JJ Abrams, another of the series' producers, and Mr Burk visited Dubai last year during a publicity tour. After touring the city they decided they wanted to make a film here some day, Mr Burk said.

"It is a town that was meant to be filmed," he said. "It has amazing sets [and] it's a big new city not photographed much before."

When Cruise approached Mr Abrams about making the next Mission: Impossible, they decided their chance had come. The film will also be shot in Russia, the Czech Republic, Canada and the US.

"We were looking for grandeur and something that is visually new, big and spectacular," Mr Burk said. "It is our good great fortune that we got here first."

The emirate worked so well for the film that they decided to shoot the main scenes here.

Mr Chernov said support from the private sector and the government were integral to the procession of selecting locations.

"The heartbeat and centrepiece of our movie is Dubai," he said.

In addition to skyscrapers, the producers were drawn by the fast-track assistance that Dubai offered. All manner of government bureaus, including civil aviation, ambulances and the transportation authority, were asked to help make things easy.

"These criteria [support from the public and private sector] have to be met," Mr Chernov said. "They were clearly met on our first meeting. Anywhere we go we have had a tremendous amount of support.".

Cruise emphasised how accommodating their partners in Dubai had been, from building sound stages to shuttling them quickly to numerous locations.

He was impressed by the warm welcome and the scenery, Cruise said.

"I dream about coming to places like this," he said. "It is such a stunning city."


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Marina Square apartments Reem Island: Q1 2% rise. Studio - Dh65-68,000. 1BR - Dh75-95,000. 2BR - Dh110-145,000. 3BR - Dh170-190,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 no change. Sammy Dallal / The National

In pictures: Where Abu Dhabi rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Abu Dhabi have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 A model of the plans for Saadiyat Island’s Cultural District, which was on display at the Global Cityscape exhibition at Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre last year. Ali Haider / EPA

Building the future on Abu Dhabi’s Saadiyat Island

Nick Leech meets Jassim Al Hammadi, the engineer charged with providing the services that will make the Saadiyat Cultural District tick.

 Business class seats inside the Emirates Airbus A380. Chip East / Reuters

In it for the long haul: flying 16 hours with Emirates to LA

Our executive travel reviewer tries out the business class offering on Emirates' longest A380 route - and finds time passing quickly.

 Ashish Nehra of Chennai Super Kings bowls to Kings XI Punjab at Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi. Ravindranath K / The National

Hard-hitting Chennai not deterred by opening loss in IPL

But some questions remain about the team's attack ahead of Monday's match against Delhi Daredevils in Abu Dhabi, writes Osman Samiuddin.

 From left: Alex Ritman, his favorite waiter and friend Andy Tillett at Baithal Ravi in 2009. Courtesy Alex Ritman

Lamenting Bur Dubai’s Baithal Ravi Restaurant

When I heard that a fire had ripped through the restaurant known as Ravis in the Bur Dubai district of Dubai, my outburst was met with echoed monosyllabic despair among numerous friends on social media.

 Screen shot from Vin Deisel's facebook page of he and Michelle Rodriguez in Abu Dhabi for the filming of Fast & Furious 7. April 2014

Fast & Furious in Abu Dhabi, a social media frenzy

Fast & Furious 7 wraps up an eventful and much-anticipated week of filming in the capital. Let's take a look at what went on via the key players' social media, while they were enjoying the delights of the desert.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National