Qatar 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 Qatar? 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 Qatar? See below for an introduction to Qatar 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.
Film Locations. Qatar offers visiting productions an interesting mix of natural, traditional and modern locations.
Natural. Khor Al Udeid is an area of desert dunes that becomes an inland sea when the tide comes in. The Qatari desert is also home to Richard Serra’s East-West/West-East, a set of four standing steel plates rising out of the sands. Much of Qatar is surrounded by the Persian Gulf, so there are also plenty of developed and remote beaches available for filming.
Traditional locations of interest include Katara Cultural Village, Fort Zubarah, Barzan Tower, Souq Waqif, and the Museum of Islamic Art. Zekreet Film City is a movie set of a traditional Arabic village.
Modern. Doha is the capital and Qatar’s production service centre. One of Doha’s main attractions is the Corniche, a waterfront palm-fringed boulevard, with Doha’s modern skyline towering in the background. Doha’s other locations of interest to filmmakers and photographers include the manmade island Pearl-Qatar, Education City, and Qatar Science and Technology Park.
Qatar is also home to modern sporting complexes including the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex, Qatar Racing and Equestrian Club, and Al Shahaniya Camel Racetrack. Several impressive stadium facilities are being built for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Qatar Film Location Permits. Permits for most public locations are free of charge. The permitting process can be slow in Qatar, so allow plenty of lead time. Usually it can take anywhere from 3 – 15 days, but more complicated shoots involving road closures or pyrotechnics can take up to a month to permit. Of course, all can be expedited if need be. Drone filming is permitted. Please contact us for location specific information.
When to shoot? Qatar’s climate is hot and dry all year round. Coastal areas are more humid than the interior. The summer from May to October is very hot and dry. Sand storms are common during this period. Winter from November to April is the best time to film in Qatar with temperatures in the bearable range. For monthly weather statistics please see here.
Many of Qatar’s festivals and events centre around the Islamic calendar. Ramadan is widely observed with many services closed during this period. Cultural events of interest include the Doha Cultural Festival held in March and the Doha Tribeca Film Festival held in October. Sporting events of interest include the Qatar Masters Golf Tournament and the Qatar Open Tennis Tournament, both being held in January. Qatar is set to host the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Qatar.
Costs. Qatar is one of the more expensive countries in the region. That said, it is still generally less expensive than shooting in Dubai. Some film infrastructure exists locally. Otherwise crew, equipment and brought in from abroad will add to the cost of shooting. Our Qatari fixer / service producer will negotiate local deals and provide the appropriate level of production support to match every budget.
Talent is non-union and buyouts are negotiable. Although Qatar offers mainly Arabic looking talent, almost 60% of the people living in Qatar are foreign nationals, so some other talent looks are also available. Nearby production centres such as Dubai offer additional casting options. Qatar is one of the more conservative countries in the region so certain talent, such as locally based Arabic female models, are harder to come by. Please contact us for recommended local casting and talent agencies.
Crews. Qatar has a small pool of local pool of directors, directors of photography and stills photographers. Some key crew are based locally but visiting productions will often bring in their key crew. Dubai is the closest major production centre should you need to look further.
Contact us if you are looking for a Doha based 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 Qatar.
Equipment. Qatar has basic grip, lighting and camera equipment available locally. You will need to bring in most standard equipment from abroad. For productions intending to bring in equipment Qatar is not an ATA carnet country.
Art department and set construction is basic beyond local looks.
Studios. Most are owned by local TV stations.
Tax Incentives. At present there are no tax incentives for foreign commercials or feature films shooting in Qatar.
Post Production. Some basic facilities exist locally. Best to post abroad for more complex projects.
Visas and Work Permits. Crews from Western countries can apply for a visa on arrival which is valid for 30 days. Camera crew are required to have a Film Permit. Our Qatari service producer / fixer will need to submit a project synopsis, camera crew passport information, and a gear list. The process usually takes about 20 days, especially if bringing in gear, but if need be can be expedite to 3 days, at extra cost.
Transportation Infrastructure. Highways and roads in Doha are new and well maintained. If heading off-road our fixer can organise safe and reliable 4WD transport. Fuel in Qatar is very inexpensive. Note, you must have a Qatari driving license to drive in Qatar. Several international airlines service flights to Doha.
Accommodation. Doha has several good film friendly hotel options, with most located on the beach. Please contact us for special Emerge Film Solutions rates. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Communication. Web posted casting, scouting and videoconferencing.
Safety. Qatar is one of the safest countries in the region. 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 Qatar, please see below:
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer in Qatar, please contact us.
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