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Kuwait

Kuwait Film & Photography Production Services

Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Kuwait? We have fully vetted, locally based fixers, service producers, directors, DP’s, videographers, cameramen, photographers, sound operators, production drivers, and a range of other film crew. Contact us for referrals, questions, cost estimates and references.

Want to know more about shooting in Kuwait? See below for an introduction to Kuwait locations, permits, when to shoot, costs, talent, crews, equipment, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits, film friendly hotels, transport, communications and safety advice.

Kuwait Film Locations

Kuwait is a flat, low lying desert covered country. It is a very small country where most locations can be reached within a one hour drive from the capital. Locations of particular interest to filmmakers and photographers include white sand beaches, uninhabited islands, Failaka Island war ruins, paved roads running through desert landscapes, modern city looks, an ice skating rink, water park, and a roller coaster. Sulabiya is home to the world’s largest tire graveyard.

Kuwait City is the capital and production centre. Buildings of interest include the Grand Mosque, Kuwait Towers, Al Hamra Tower, Souq Al-Mubarakeya, 360 Mall, and Avenues Mall.

Kuwait Film Location Permits

A Film Permit is required to shoot in public locations. Our Kuwaiti fixer / service producer will require a project synopsis, visiting crew details, gear list, dates, locations list and all other job information to apply for the permit with relevant authorities. Allow at least 14 days to process.

Most locations are possible given time, money and the right approach. Unsanctioned photography of government buildings, military installations, and oil-related infrastructure is illegal. Penalties may include arrest, fines, confiscation of equipment, and deportation. Helicopter filming is possible. There are no private helicopter companies so we need to go through the Interior Ministry. Filming with drones is easier. Shutting down streets can be very difficult but there are some less busy areas that are easier to work with. Please contact us for location specific information.

When To Shoot?

Kuwait’s summer (April to September) is extremely hot and dry. The shamal, a northwesterly wind common during June and July, causes dramatic sandstorms. The winter season (November to February) is cool with some precipitation. Winter is a far better time to film in Kuwait in terms of weather. For monthly weather statistics please see here.

The Hala Festival takes place in February. Many of Kuwait’s holidays are based on the Islamic calendar. Many services close during Ramadan.

Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Kuwait.

Costs & Tax Incentives

Costs. Comparable to Dubai for average costs. Kuwait has some key crew, equipment and talent options but most visiting productions will need to bring in additional support which will add to the cost of shooting. In any case, our Kuwaiti fixer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.

Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or feature films shooting in Kuwait.

Film Crew & Talent

Crews. Kuwait has a very small pool of locally based directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Kuwait has a small pool of crew available locally (such as a cameraman, sound operator, etc). Most key crew (such as experienced gaffers and grips) need to be brought in from abroad. Dubai and Beirut are the closest major production centres.

Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Kuwait.

Talent day rates and buyouts are negotiable. Kuwait offers mainly Arabic looking talent. All other talent needs to be brought in from abroad. Kuwait is one of the more liberal countries in the region, allowing for more Arabic female talent options than one would find in more conservative countries such as Saudi Arabia or Qatar. All the same, best to ask permission first before taking photographs of people.

Kuwait Film Equipment

Equipment. Some basic camera, grip and lighting equipment is available locally. Can find up to 12K lights, dolly tracks, cranes, Alexas, etc. In most cases it’s best to bring in your own equipment from abroad. Kuwait is not an ATA carnet country. Our fixer / producer can organise gear importation.

Art Department, Studios, Backlots, & Post Production

Art department and set construction is very basic beyond local looks.

Studios and backlots. None exist at present.

Post Production. Post abroad.

Visas & Work Permits

Entry is subject to regulations from country of origin. Visas are required to enter Kuwait. Western passport holders can obtain entry visas on arrival or apply online prior to travel using the e-Visa system. Visas are valid for up to 3 months. Contact your local Kuwaiti embassy or representative for more information.

Transport & Accommodation

Transportation Infrastructure. Roads are up to international standards. Our Kuwaiti fixer / producer organises safe and reliable 4WD transport for desert driving. Several international airlines service flights to Kuwait City.

Accommodation. Recommended film friendly hotels in Kuwait City include:

Ibis
Holiday Inn
Sheraton Kuwait Hotel & Towers
Four Points
Marriott

Please contact us for special rates. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.

Final Notes

Safety. See here for up to date travel advice.

Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Kuwait, please see below:

Hire Kuwait Production Support & Shooting Crew

If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Kuwait, please contact us.

If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Kuwait, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.

We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.