From Mission Impossible to The Force Awakens, Dubai has been a "character" in some of the top-grossing movies this century, thanks to the stark natural beauty of its surroundings and its high-tech skyline.
You may think you know them all, but hopefully, we have a few surprises for you on our list of films streaming now that feature the City of Gold.
R (for language and violence), Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Starring: George Clooney, Matt Damon, Jeffrey Wright, Amanda Peet, Chris Cooper, Tim Blake Nelson
This charged geopolitical thriller exposes the current state of the oil industry from the inside out. Through several storylines woven together, it reveals corporations' and governments' excessive ambition and complicity in controlling the world's oil supply.
This film was shot in five different Middle Eastern locations. It won an Oscar for Best Actor (George Clooney) and was nominated for Best Writing of an Original Screenplay.
Where was it shot? Many of the film's most iconic shots took place in the deserts and open expanses outside Dubai.
Stream Syriana on Apple TV and VUDU.
PG-13 (for extreme action violence sequences), Action, Adventure
Director: Brad Bird
Starring: Tom Cruise, Jeremy Renner, Simon Pegg
When the Kremlin is bombed, the Impossible Mission Force (IMF) is implicated, forcing it to shut down. Ethan Hunt and the rest of the IMF's Mission: Impossible team are called in to clear the organization's name -- but they must go rogue to do it; this element makes this particular Mission: Impossible film unique and one of the must-sees of the series.
The film swept the top nominations for the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films Awards and won two: Best Editing and Best Action/Adventure Film.
Where was it shot? Ghost Protocol's most breathtaking scene depicts Tom Cruise climbing the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, at times hanging only by one hand. The film also features a chase scene in a Dubai sandstorm.
Stream Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol on Amazon Prime Video.
PG-13 (for sci-fi action violence), Science Fiction, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Director: J.J. Abrams
Starring: Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega, Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher
As a new evil emerges in the galaxy, a new Jedi in the form of a young scavenger in the desert discovers her destiny. In classic Stars Wars fashion, she draws an entire entourage along for the ride, including a former Stormtrooper and some familiar faces from the original trilogy.
The film received five Oscar nominations for film editing, musical score and visual effects.
Where was it shot? The film features a full-scale market built solely for the film just outside Dubai's city limits.
Stream The Force Awakens on Disney+.
Star Trek Beyond (2016)
PG-13 (for violence and sequences of sci-fi action), Science fiction, Fantasy, Action, Adventure
Director: Justin Lin
Starring: Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, Simon Pegg, Anton Yelchin, John Cho, Idris Elba
This is a truly modern space opera in the most classic sense that is the third instalment of the franchise reboot that continues the journey that began with the new Kirk and crew in the 2009 film Star Trek.
The film was nominated for an Oscar for makeup and hairstyling. The storyline involves the crash-landing of the Enterprise (per usual) and a lousy lizard guy who wants revenge against Starfleet. It's typical Star Trek fare but with a brand new 21st-century presentation.
Where was it shot? Star Trek Beyond was a major studio's first science fiction film to be shot in Dubai Studio City. On-location shoots also took place in and around Central Park in DIFC, Al Mas Tower, and Burj Al Arab.
Stream Star Trek Beyond on Hulu and Paramount+.
PG-13 (for some language, intense violence sequences and prolonged gun battles), Action, Thriller, Mystery
Director: Stanley Tong
Starring: Jackie Chan
In this high-concept romp through the Middle East, Jackie Chan plays – wait for it – an accountant. No, the martial arts master isn't trying on a new thespian cap (like Robin Williams in a serious role); it's simply all part of the slapstick.
Laugh your way through some of the most exhilarating stunts and fight sequences as our humble hero takes covert security protection (that's a laugh on its own) from a deadly mercenary group.
Stream Vanguard on Hulu.
Crown of the United Arab Emirates, Dubai is a much sought-after spot for business people, tourists and filmmakers. Its uniquely majestic architecture and artful urban design in the hands of masterful directors and cinematographers have elevated these and many other blockbuster films now available for streaming into the elite class.
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