Filming & Photography
How to apply for permissions for filming, photography and airport tours at DXB and DWC
All filming, photography and related reconnaisance tours at Dubai International (DXB) and Dubai World Central (DWC) require permits and/or airport security passes after approval from relevant authorities. Filming with the use of drones is strictly prohibited in or near the airports.
For more information on guidelines and regulations on the use of recreational drones in Dubai, please contact the Dubai Civil Aviation Authroity or visit their www.dcaa.gov.ae.
Media organisations and production agencies wishing to film at the airports must first contact Corporate Communication department at Dubai Airports for all requests related to documentaries, interviews, news stories, B roll footage, and commercial filming/photography projects such as advertisements, promotions, movies, brand activation campaigns, and reality TV programmes. Once the request is pre-approved by the department, the media organisation/production agency can apply for appropriate location permits/security passes through the Dubai Film and TV Commission’s website www.filmdubai.gov.ae.
The DFTC is the sole entity authorised to issue shooting permits in Dubai for both public and private locations. As such, any entity or individual that wishes to conduct a film shoot requires approval/permit from the DFTC.
Process to register with DFTC
To obtain DFTC approval letter, applicant is required to hire a production agency based in Dubai to apply on their behalf. Please refer to the Commission’s website www.filmdubai.gov.ae/filming-in-dubai/how-to-film-in-dubai for more information on registration, fees and other requirements for acquiring a filming permit.
Once the application process is completed on the DFTC system, the Corporate Communication department at Dubai Airports is notified of the request and can review and approve the online request. The documents required for the review and approval process at Dubai Airports include a request on letterhead mentioning date, time, duration, exact location(s), crew size, equipment list (including brand of each camera and their serial numbers) for the shoot, as well as the story-board if applicable).
- If the filming/photography request is related to a Dubai Airports service partner such as Emirates, flydubai, dnata, Dubai Duty Free etc., the Corporate Communication department provides a No Objection stamp on the request letter which the production agency/media organisation can then use to apply for airport security passes either through the relevant stakeholder or directly with the Dubai Airports Security Pass Office.
- All filming requests involving airside locations (areas beyond security check) have to be received ideally 15 days in advance, with all necessary documents submitted at least 7 working days prior to the filming date. Urgent requests for filming are handled on a case to case basis but require that all necessary documents are submitted at least 3 working days prior to the shoot.
- Approved requests for filming in landside locations (public areas before security check) can be processed within three working days provided all required documents are submitted. Shooting in landside locations does not require airport security pass for crew or personnel (Documents required are a detailed request on the purpose, date, time, duration, exact location, and script summary on letterhead; list of equipment with brand names and serial numbers of all cameras/equipment and copies of passports and visa pages for each crew. Police and pass office may request additional documents).
- Areas in the airport where filming/photography is strictly prohibited or require prior written permission from the relevant authority:- Security check points and police/uniformed personnel- Customs check points and customs personnel- Immigration counters and immigration personnel
- Areas/Situations that require special clearance for filming:
- Air Traffic Control tower
- Apron (ramp)
- Meteorology Department
- Baggage Handling System
- Engaging/Interviewing passengers
- All facilities not owned/managed by Dubai Airports
Airport Security Pass Application Process
Once a request for filming/photography has been approved, the media organisation/production agency has to submit the following documents in the mentioned format/size.
All document scans should be in colour in JPG or PDF format and should be under 250KB; passport sized photos should be in JPG format with white background. Any documents that are black and white or in Word or PNG format are rejected by the system. Each document should be scanned separately.
- A letter of exemption/approval/location filming permit from the Dubai Film and TV Commission (DFTC).
- A request from the sponsor/organisation on letterhead (stamped) mentioning the purpose, date and time, exact locations (e.g. Landside departure at Terminal 3; Concourse B; Arrivals Baggage Hall etc.) and duration of the shoot and the names and the crew. Crew not employed by applying company need to provide a letter of No Objection from their actual employers (the sponsor as mentioned in the visa on their passports). (Applicable to UAE based companies)
- A list of equipment – cameras, lenses and tripods etc. with their brand names and correct serial numbers attached to the request letter mentioned above. (If equipment is limited to one or two cameras, their details can be shared in the request letter).
- Clear copies of passports of all crew.
- Clear copies of UAE Visa page. If applicant is non-resident and Visa exempt, a copy of the entry stamp upon arrival in the UAE.
- Passport sized photos with white background.
- Pass Application Security Form (available for download at the end of this page) duly filled and signed by each crew member. (Leave no blanks. Only vehicle section can be left blank for non-residents, both references and their contact numbers are required; use hotel address or phone in the Residence section)
- Note: If the applicant is a freelancer he must provide an NOC letter from the sponsor.
- If the sponsor in the visa is based at or part of Dubai Technology & Media Free Zone (Tecom) or any other Free Zone the applicant must provide an NOC letter from the relevant Free Zone/Authority. Please note that Tecom can take 5-or 7 days to issue the NOC.
- Clear copy of the work ID (Both side should be scanned on one page in JPG or PDF format under 250KB size).
- Clear copy of the national ID (Both side should be scanned on one page in JPG or PDF format under 250KB size).
- If the applicant has had a temporary pass issued from Emirates, flydubai, dnata or other airport stakeholder, it has to be returned to the pass office and then cancelled in the system from the respective entity before a new application can be processed through Dubai Airports.
- Laptops and tablets cannot be taken beyond security check point at the airport without an equipment permit. To apply for permit for laptops/tablets, please include each item with brand name and serial number in the equipment list and indicate pass requirement.
- Note: If the applicant has a student’s visa it is illegal for him/her to be in employment and the application will be automatically rejected. (Applicable to residents)
Airport security passes require approvals from a number of departments including Dubai Police. This part of the process is independent and beyond the purview and control of Dubai Airports.
Administrative offices of police and the airport security pass office are closed on Friday and Saturday.
The airport security passes take a minimum of 3 to 5 working days to process from the date of submission of all correct documents.
Crew are not permitted to carry dangerous equipment/hazardous items into the airport e.g. (Pocket knife, Swiss knife, screw drivers, large box cutters, masking tape, ropes etc.)
The airport security passes have to be returned to Dubai Airports after the completion of the filming/tour. Failure to return a pass will result in the rejection of subsequent applications for airport security pass.
Airport tour request from media representatives transiting through Dubai require two weeks advance notice to prepare for necessary clearance. If approved the airport tour will be limited to airside (terminal/concourses) with no access beyond immigration check (towards landside/arrivals)
Dubai Airports does not permit filming/engaging/interacting with passengers.