Abu Dhabi is making the most of its hosting a portion of the shoot of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” with plans to use some remains of the sets as a tourist attraction going forward.
Media and entertainment hub twofour54 is creating a giant Star Wars-themed installation featuring the Starkiller Base from the latest instalment, while props and set pieces used in the UAE desert are being unveiled tonight (December 16) to wow invitees at the pic’s Middle East red carpet premiere being held at Abu Dhabi’s sumptuous Emirates Palace hotel.
Twofour54 CEO Noura Al Kaabi has confirmed to Variety that some of the “Star Wars” sets in two Liwa desert locations which doubled as Jakku, the frontier desert planet in a remote section of the Outer Rim Territories, will become a tourist attraction, though further details are being kept under wraps.
Shooting on the latest “Star Wars” installment in the Emirate took place in May 2014 with a crew of more than 650 working across the two desert locations. Pic tapped into Abu Dhabi’s 30% rebate, applicable to below-the-line-spend and other benefits.
A 100-meter-high Star-Wars-themed installation is in the works on the facade of Abu Dhabi’s landmark circular coin-shaped Aldar HQ building, which is the world’s first circular skyscraper. Twofour54 has released an image (above) of what the iconic building will look like once the installation is complete.
Though no “Star Wars” talent attended the premiere at Emirates Palace, six stormtroopers from the UK and German garrisons of the 501st Legion and also UAE stormtroopers greeted guests, which included a slew of top Middle East celebs.
Disney is releasing “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” in UAE cinemas tomorrow, December 17, with strong pre-sales of reportedly at least 35,000 tickets.
by Nick Vivarelli