Abu Dhabi hosts ME premiere of Star Wars and world exclusive Jakku Experience
The highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens had its second worldwide premiere this evening in Abu Dhabi. The event was brought to the UAE capital by twofour54 in partnership with Etihad Airways and Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.
Held at Emirates Palace, the Middle East premiere was an invitation-only red carpet event where guests mingled with Stormtroopers from the UAE, UK and German garrisons of 501st Legion.
Members of the Jedi order armed with lightsabers also took to the red carpet. The screening of the film was then followed by a world exclusive immersion experience of the film’s creatures, props and set pieces. The one-off Jakku experience featured the set piece of the Jakku market place; models of the Jakku speeder truck and the Jakku landspeeder; and the AT-AT foot.
The event was attended by Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi Chairman, H.E. Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak; twofour54 CEO H.E. Noura Al Kaabi; Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority Chairman H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak; representatives from key government entities; ambassadors as well as Academy Award winner, Richard Dreyfuss, and local and regional talent.
Speaking at the premiere, H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, CEO of twofour54 said: “Over a timeframe of almost 40 years, Star Wars has travelled far and wide to create a spectacular cinematic experience for audiences around the world and this time around, the film was facilitated by twofour54 and Abu Dhabi Film Commission. This is a step in the journey of Abu Dhabi’s film industry, as part of its quest to become one of the world’s most sought after production sites. The collective efforts of Abu Dhabi Government entities have helped to bring the latest Star Wars film to the screen and we couldn’t be more proud to have been involved in the making of this highly anticipated film.
She added: “Film is visual literacy. It is a tool that not only creates history but builds bridges between different nations, cultures as well as generations, making film a universal tongue spoken across all corners of the world. Being able to play a part in building the region’s film industry, while also supporting the global industry, is an incredible opportunity for Abu Dhabi.”
Speaking at the premiere, Chair of Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, said: “Abu Dhabi is well set to harness the power of film as a motivational and destination image-making tool. Star Wars: The Force Awakens has gifted us an exciting opportunity to associate the emirate with a global movie franchise which enables us to entice enthusiastic fans or audience members to visit inspired by what they have seen on screen.
“Film tourism allows us to connect the attractiveness of Abu Dhabi’s landscapes, culture and heritage, visitor experiences and resorts with new audiences and raise awareness of the destination to the millions of tourists who choose their destination primarily by the movies or TV programmes they’ve seen. We hope international travellers are encouraged to see for themselves where the film was shot and discover the beauty of Liwa desert, and stay on to explore the diversity of the emirate’s world-class attractions,” added Al Mubarak.
With assistance from twofour54 and the Abu Dhabi Film Commission, filming for Star Wars: The Force Awakens took place in Abu Dhabi during May 2014 with over 650 crew working across two locations. In the film, Abu Dhabi plays Jakku, a frontier desert planet in a remote section of the Outer Rim Territories.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is the seventh instalment in the franchise and is anticipated to be one of the most successful films of all time. So far, it has smashed all records for advance ticket sales in the United States.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is scheduled for general release in UAE cinemas on 17 December 2015.