The Real Reason Star Trek Beyond Decided To Shoot In Dubai

While Star Trek and Star Trek Into Darkness primarily stuck to the United States or the UK for filming, next year’s Star Trek Beyond opted to widen its scope. In addition to primarily shooting in Vancouver, British Columbia, the 2016 blockbuster did additional shoots at other locations across the globe, including the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai. Producer Jeffrey Chernov said several months ago that Dubai was chosen primarily for fitting their "world of the future" needs, but there’s another reason the production chose that location: a great tax incentive.

Overtaking Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol as the most expensive project to shoot in Dubai ($32 million vs $22 million at that location), Gulf News reports that Star Trek Beyond chose the city because there is a 30 percent rebate provided by the Abu Dhabi Film Commission to shoot there. The Star Trek Beyond crew shot in Dubai for over 20 days in October during which time over 2,000 people lined up to be extras, and producer Jeffrey Chernov said that it was only when they arrived in Dubai that they knew how the third act would come together. Because the city features heavily in the movie, Dubai will be treated to a red carpet premiere of the latest Star Trek flick. Cast members Zachary Quinto, Chris Pine, John Cho and Karl Urban also commented in interviews screened at the Dubai International Film Festival how they enjoyed working in Dubai, so production there appears to have been a success for all the parties involved.

Star Trek Beyond is just the latest blockbuster to take its production to Dubai, following in the footsteps of movies like Furious 7 and Syriana. If the Abu Dhabi Film Commission continues to offer this rebate, along with the city itself offering customized incentives, then no doubt more high profile productions will travel there to take advantage of the financial benefits. Marvel is reportedly taking a similar approach by possibly shooting Thor: Ragnarok and Captain Marvel in Australia for its financial benefits and because Disney had a great experience shooting Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales there.

Details about Star Trek Beyond’s plot have been slim over the last year. Today’s trailer showed that the Enterprise crew will find themselves stranded on a strange planet after the ship is heavily damaged by either space debris or weird attack drones. With the Enterprise out of commission, it looks like the main characters will find themselves separated from each other on this world, they’ll find themselves battling Idris Elba’s still-unnamed antagonist. Fortunately, they’ll also get some help from the white-skinned warrior alien seen several times during the preview, who is presumably Sofia Boutella’s character.

Justin Lin’s Star Trek Beyond will be released on July 22, 2016.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.