NEOM | The largest sound stages and film production support facilities in Saudi Arabia are now officially open at NEOM Media Village and Bajdah Desert Studios, the region’s main commercial and tourism destination. Over the past 18 months, the facilities have supported about 25 projects.

Additionally, NEOM formally introduced its 40%+ cash rebate production incentive programme for feature films, TV shows, and commercials. Producers might get a larger proportion based on their contributions to industry growth.

According to Wayne Borg, Managing Director for Media Industries, Entertainment and Culture at NEOM, “Production incentives clearly play a vital role in terms of attracting productions, but are best leveraged when the entire package is in place: infrastructure, on-the-ground international production expertise, crew depth, and ease of doing business.” “NEOM is now able to provide this attractive bundle,”

Over the two locations, the first three sound stages are already in use. By Q1 2023, seven more, including a sophisticated volumetric manufacturing stage, are expected to be operational.

This is an important step toward realising our vision of being the region’s media hub, said Borg.

In addition to a 2,400 square metre sound stage, production offices, green rooms, and make-up rooms, NEOM Media Village also has three more stages under construction. There are now two 3,000 square metre sound stages at Bajdah Desert Studios, and four more are expected to open by the end of 2022.

According to NEOM, the studios would feature production facilities such as offices for setting production, building warehouses, prop shops, online clothing stores, SFX facilities, and backlot area to support set constructions. Both locations have access to film and auxiliary equipment, such as cameras, grip and lighting, shotover, heavy-lift drones, telehandlers, boom lifts, scissor lifts, and trackway.

Additionally, the production facilities will include 350 cast and crew-specific housing units.

The region’s largest TV show to date, Rise of The Witches, and a new reality TV survival show called Million Dollar Island, which finished filming in July, are both now in production at the interim facilities. Additionally, this month marks the start of production for the first local serial drama produced by NEOM.

20 foreign projects were shown at NEOM in 2021, including Desert Warrior, which was directed by Rise of the Planet of the Apes director Rupert Wyatt and starred Anthony Mackie, Sir Ben Kingsley, and Aiysha Hart.

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