'Abu Dhabi's been lucky for me': Salman Khan discusses shooting 'Bharat' in the UAE

'Beautiful locations, and it's a nice quiet place to shoot in, and every few kilometres the whole terrain changes,' says Khan of shooting the mega blockbuster in the Emirates

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Bharat had huge success at the box office, becoming the second highest-grossing Bollywood film of 2019, and exclusive unseen footage has just been released featuring Bollywood stars Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in Abu Dhabi.

In the new video, director Ali Abbas and Salman Khan discuss the UAE's striking and varied film locations, and talk about the warm and welcoming nature of Arab hospitality.

"The thing I like about Abu Dhabi," says director Abbas, "is you have a lot of diversity." He also says that he appreciates the similarities between Middle Eastern and Indian culture: "the family values, and food".

Abu Dhabi's twofour54 provided full production services for the film, covering key areas such as location assistance, permits and equipment as well as catering, accommodation, travel and transportation. Bharat also benefited from the 30 per cent rebate on production spend in the Emirate from the Abu Dhabi Film Commission.

The Hindi-langiage Bharat is based on the 2014 South Korean historical epic Ode to My Father, the fourth-highest grossing film in South Korean cinema history. Its 14.2 million ticket sales figure mean that roughly one-in-four of Korea's 51 million-strong population bought a ticket to see the film.

Principal photography for Bharat began in April 2018. Shooting took place in locations such as Abu Dhabi, Spain, Malta, Punjab and Delhi.

Kaif joined the cast soon after Priyanka Chopra opted out of the role after filming commenced, due to her impending engagement to Nick Jonas. Filming concluded in March 2019. The film's soundtrack was composed by Vishal Shekhar, with lyrics written by Irshad Kamil, and released under the banner T-Series.

Despite mixed reviews, when Bharat opened on May 17 it gave Khan his highest opening day to date with 423 million rupees (Dh22.6 million) in sales.

That was also the highest opening day for any film released in Indian cinemas in 2019 so far, and Bharat currently sits in 15th place on the list of all-time top earning Bollywood films.