Mission Impossible 4 to film in Dubai

Ton Cruise and crew of more than 400 to spend weeks here making next instalment, with Burj Khalifa among possible filming sites.

DUBAI // The fourth instalment of the popular Mission: Impossible film franchise is to be partly filmed in Dubai, it was confirmed yesterday.

Shooting for the film, which stars Tom Cruise, will begin in the "next few weeks", according to a statement by the media office of Dubai. A spokesperson for the film, who asked not to be named, said: "Mission: Impossible will be shooting on location in Dubai in several weeks and the cast and crew are looking forward to experiencing Dubai's wonderful cultural diversity and its distinctive architecture."

"It's a good thing for Dubai to have this film," said the manager of a lighting company based in Dubai, who also asked not to be named. "It will raise the level of movie production here. The kind of lighting and other techniques that will be required for this movie will be more advanced than what Dubai has seen before."

The announcement comes after two months of meetings between the franchise's Hollywood studio, Paramount Pictures, and government officials. Technical teams also arrived to scout locations in the city.

Among the possible filming sites are the Burj Khalifa and Meydan. Government departments and companies such as Emirates Airline and Emaar have been placed on standby to assist with the film. "Filming [set to take place in] Dubai would be the longest among other international cities that will feature in M:I4," said the statement from the emirate's media office. "The city is expected to play host to the film crews and stars over a period of at least three weeks."

Alongside Cruise will be a crew of more than 400, including the director Brad Bird, who is best known for his work on Pixar's The Incredibles, which grossed more than US$600 million (Dh2.2 billion) globally. Other stars expected to arrive in Dubai include the Oscar nominee Jeremy Renner (The Hurt Locker) and Paula Patton (Precious). Only a handful of big-budget films have been made in the UAE, notably the Hollywood blockbusters The Kingdom, which was set in Saudi Arabia, and Syriana, which was set in several countries in the Middle East.

Landing part of the production of M:I4 will boost Dubai's efforts to establish itself as a host to international films and a regional movie hub. In 2004, the city launched the Dubai International Film Festival. In five years, it has more than doubled the number of films shown to 181 from 76, and expanded the number of countries represented to 66 from 27. Dubai opened Dubai Studio City in 2005, which provides resources for filmmaking from equipment rental to post-production. It also supports television productions.

The Mission: Impossible franchise has grossed more than US$1.4bn globally, according to Paramount. M:I4 is scheduled for US release in December 2011.