It was completed in three weeks and is the first full-length feature film to be shot almost entirely in the Emirates. The Dubai TV and Film Commission expects more interest from Bollywood now and has received confirmation from two more films already. The shooting of Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Happy New Year has brought an estimated $5 million to the UAE, according to a report.
According to The National, benefits to the Emirate's economy include hotel room rents, flight fare and equipment and space rentals.
Dubai TV and Film Commission said that it will provide a more precise figure of the earnings through the Shah Rukh-starrer by this month or the next.
Happy New Year was shot in three weeks and is the first full-length feature film to be shot almost entirely in the Emirates. It will be released next year.
The film commission expects more interest from Bollywood now and has received confirmation from two more film crews for shooting in the Emirates. The commission did not provide details of the films.
The commission worked with Khan's production company, Red Chillies Entertainment, for about a year to organise the shoot.
In the past, Bollywood films chose Dubai as a location only for a scene or two.
"This is not just a dance scene but about 80-90% of the film was shot in Dubai. We had to learn the logistics. Normally we've only dealt with a maximum of 40 people who come to do a dance scene in two to five days," chairman of the film commission, Jamal Al Sharif, said.
The Red Chillies team was given a lot of incentives by the Dubai International Airport, Emirates Airline as well as the immigration authorities.
The entire movie crew booked 180 rooms at the Atlantis Hotel on the Palm for 25 days.
"This will have an impact culturally. They're creating jobs and we're hoping that further Bollywood films will support (our) GDP. We are expecting the next door to open for Bollywood to be in Dubai and the Middle East," Al Sharif said.
Rebates and incentives are one of the key areas of focus for the film commission as it works to attract productions to the Emirate, not just from Bollywood, but from all over the world.
"We are putting together plans for the years to come to provide soft and hard incentives and rebates. Dubai is a tax-free destination and we have to take advantage of that."
"We're looking to improve many things. We have a project in Studio City which is part of a Tecom investment to build a 50,000 square foot site with a water tank. These will benefit the filmmakers," Al Sharif was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
"Dubai needs to let the world know it has the infrastructure. It is comparable to any place in the world. It is high time a lot of Indian films, not just Bollywood, should be encouraged to come here and this will be a stepping stone to showcase the beauty of Dubai and how wonderful and easy it is to shoot (here)," Shah Rukh said in Dubai last month.