These Videos Prove Bollywood Loves This City
The affair dates back to 1992
It doesn’t take a movie buff to know Bollywood is one of the largest centres of film production in the world. Fact: it released over 200 films in 2015. When you’re talking that many films per year, it is not surprising that exploring new locations would be a top priority. And given Dubai’s proximity to Mumbai (flight time of under three hours), it’s a favoured spot for Indian directors and producers.
Last month saw the release of a romantic drama Ki and Ka based on contradicting gender roles of a married couple. A decent part of the film was shot in Dubai with venues including The Dubai Mall, Palm Jumeirah and Souk Al Bahar.
Here are 11 other times we’ve spotted different parts of the city in Bollywood movies.
1. Welcome Back
Release year: 2015
Plot: A sequel to the 2007 release, Welcome tracks the story of reformed gangsters who try to find a husband for their sister, but things get messy because of mistaken identities.
Pyramids at Wafi, The Dubai Mall waterfront area (with the night view of The Dubai Fountain), the exotic cars showroom on Sh Zayed Road and Dubai Gold Souk have all been caught on camera for this silly three minute song from the movie.
2. Happy New Year
Release year: 2014
Plot: In their quest to pull off a diamond heist, a team ends up winning the love of millions.
A large part of the movie was shot at Atlantis, The Palm, and that was perhaps the only enjoyable part of the movie (believe us when we tell you that it was that bad). Here’s a little glimpse of scenes that weren’t included, but are fun to watch because you know you’ve taken your social media shots at the same spots in the flashy lobby.
3. Dabangg 2
Release year: 2012
Plot: A sequel to the 2010 release sees the return of a fearless cop who is on a mission to sabotage a corrupt politician’s career, while strengthening his own family ties.
What you’d be surprised to see in this video is the greenery (that most don’t know exists) behind Emirates Towers and the super luxurious Al Maha Desert Resort.
Release year: 2010
Plot: A fearless and corrupt cop faces challenges from almost everyone in society, including his family.
It might come across as an advert for Dubai Metro, but it’s only a video of a romantic song from the 2010 hit featuring superstar Salman Khan. You'll also spot some beautiful dunes and bits of Abu Dhabi in this song.
Release year: 2007
Plot: A love counsellor assists other males with their love stories, but becomes entangled in controversies because of them.
This upbeat song was filmed at Dubai Media City. Don't miss the ‘International Media Production Zone’ branded vehicle which doubles up as a prop.
Release year: 2007
Plot: A man falls in love with a beautiful woman only to find out her brothers are gangsters.
It’s pretty evident this scene was shot in the city with Dubai-plate cars swerving across a palm tree-lined road. (Here's some more scoop, just in case you didn't know: a few of the security guards, dressed in black, are actually bouncers from local nightclubs).
7. Woh Lamhe
Release year: 2006
Plot: The life of a schizophrenic actress and her lover are explored in this story, which is based on the life of Bollywood actress Parveen Babi.
Primarily shot at the start of Sh Zayed Road, this song also features occasional glimpses of Al Murooj Rotana Dubai and the fountains at Dubai Marina (which got all the attention before The Dubai Fountain came in the picture).
8. Deewane Huye Paagal
Release year: 2005
Plot: Three men outwit each other to get the attention of one woman. She in turn loves someone else.
This particular scene is shot at Oud Metha and Dubai International Airport. What will grab your attention though is the ‘then’ skyline of Dubai. You can’t help but be amazed at how much Sh Zayed Road has changed in the last 11 years.
Release year: 2004
Plot: In the hope of helping his lover, a man gets entangled in a massive internet scam. He escapes only to take revenge from the ones who put him in that situation.
This song from the movie features the iconic Burj Al Arab and blue waters of Umm Suqueim beach, as well as a yacht across Deira Creek. The gold Tamweel building (located in Garhoud) was at one point used as the offices for Emirates' cabin crew managers.
10. Tumsa Nahin Dekha
Release year: 2004
Plot: A millionaire (womaniser) falls in love with a striptease dancer and beats all odds (including his engagement) to marry her.
The charm of old Dubai is captured with the abra ride, Bur Dubai market and buildings on the Deira side of the creek in this slow (and slightly depressing) song.
Release year: 1992
Plot: Boy meets girl and they fall in love, but face opposition from their families due to long-standing enmity.
This song from the movie has been filmed on the outskirts of the city, but you can spot actor Feroz Khan dune bashing in his Dubai-registered Toyota SUV. This is your chance to check out what the old number plates looked like.