City’s safety

Mea­sures en­sure ac­tors feel com­fort­able in the UAE

Khaleej Times - City Times - - FRONT PAGE - ENID PARKER enid@khalee­j­

THE ON­SET OF the coro­n­avirus pan­demic took a heavy toll on film and tele­vi­sion pro­duc­tions in In­dia as lock­down­in­duced re­stric­tions pre­vented many stars from shoot­ing for their on­go­ing projects, for months to­gether. With the industry grad­u­ally open­ing up again, many over­seas shoots for Bol­ly­wood films had re­sumed as well, such as Ak­shay Ku­mar’s Bell Bot­tom in the United King­dom and Mouni Roy and Purab Kohli’s

Lon­don Con­fi­den­tial (it re­leased last month on an OTT chan­nel) in Lon­don. How­ever, Dubai seems to be the pre­ferred for­eign lo­ca­tion for many Bol­ly­wood and tele­vi­sion stars as shoot­ing re­sumes. Two web se­ries, Line of Fire and 7th Sense, are be­ing shot in the city with covid pre­cau­tions.

In a re­cent in­ter­view with City Times, ac­tor R. Mad­ha­van, who was shoot­ing for crime thriller

7th Sense along with Ro­hit Roy, com­mented, “Dubai is a trend­set­ter for the world, so it was nat­u­ral for the first Bol­ly­wood shoot­ing (post covid) to take place in this city. It’s a phe­nom­e­nal place.”

In­side Edge ac­tor Tanuj Vir­wani is a part of both 7th Sense and Line Of Fire.

“The sit­u­a­tion in Dubai is much bet­ter than in In­dia. Rules are very strict here. I can’t even leave my ho­tel room with­out wear­ing a mask, oth­er­wise I would be fined,” he said.

Ak­shay Ku­mar shot for the song

Burj Khal­ifa (from the up­com­ing

Laxmmi Bomb), in Dubai early this year with Kiara Ad­vani who com­mented, “Shoot­ing for Burj Khal­ifa was amongst the most en­joy­able sched­ules of the film. Along with the fancy out­fits came fancier lo­ca­tions.”

An­gad Bedi and San­deepa Dar were also in Dubai to shoot a se­quence for their up­com­ing web se­ries Mum Bhai. San­deepa said of her ex­pe­ri­ence, “It was very pleas­ant, right from the time we landed. It was very well or­gan­ised, the en­tire sys­tem of check­ing and test­ing. It was a smooth sail. I felt safe. The shoot­ing ex­pe­ri­ence was also easy breezy be­cause the lo­cal crew was sup­port­ive.”

An­gad added, “We were tested (for Covid-19) be­fore we left the coun­try, in Mum­bai, and as soon as we landed in Dubai, we got tested at the air­port. One day we had to quar­an­tine. The fol­low­ing day, we started our shoot. It was good to see peo­ple main­tain­ing so­cial dis­tance, ev­ery­one was wear­ing a mask. There was a desert safari and a belly dance se­quence. We shot in a spice colony, at Dubai Mu­seum, and at the clock tower.”

Cur­rently hol­i­day­ing in the city is Bol­ly­wood ac­tress Ur­vashi Rautela. A fre­quent vis­i­tor, she has been grab­bing eye­balls with her lat­est so­cial me­dia posts from Dubai.

Jai Ho ac­tress Daisy Shah re­cently dropped into the city as well, on a per­sonal visit, and posted fun vlogs from her trip. In an in­ter­view with City Times, she re­vealed she was happy to be trav­el­ling again post lock­down. “I was con­cerned ini­tially but with the un­der­stand­ing that we haven’t got a vac­cine as yet and we can’t be sit­ting at home all the time, we have to work, we all have re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, all we can do is take God’s name and start our jour­ney.”

Mad­ha­van, An­gad Bedi, Shah Rukh Khan, Pre­ity Zinta, Ro­hit Roy, Ur­vashi Rautela and Anushka Sharma are among those who have graced our shores.

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