Hala China has announced that the first Chinese Film Week in Dubai will be launched on 1 October 2018, with a programme that includes the screening of some of China’s most popular blockbusters in Dubai. The event will also bring celebrities and directors in Chinese cinema to the city for a celebration of the nation’s film industry.
The Chinese Film Week in Dubai will commence with a red-carpet event on the opening night at Roxy Cinemas in City Walk. Following this, movies to be played during the week will include Dragon Blade, Po Feng, Twenties Once Again, The Nightingale, American Dreams in China, Wolf Totem, Monkey King: Hero Is Back, and Big Fish & Begonia.
Commenting on the initiative, Sheikh Majid Al Mualla, Chairman of the Board of Directors at Hala China, said: “The Chinese Film Week in Dubai is one of the first events to take place as part of the Hala China initiative, and is fully aligned with the commercial and tourism objectives of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. We are confident that the event will appeal to Chinese visitors as well as to Dubai’s resident population. It is also a big opportunity to showcase the city’s world-class infrastructure and facilities as the ideal destination for Chinese movie directors and film production houses to base their future projects.”
The Chinese Film Week in Dubai will take place during the Chinese National Day holiday – known locally as Golden Week. Supported by the Consulate-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai and the China Film Administration, the film screenings will take place at Roxy Cinemas at City Walk, The Beach and Boxpark.
The event will target Chinese tourists traveling to the region during Golden Week, in addition to the 270,000 Chinese expats living in the UAE. The UAE has seen the number of overnight visitors from China grow by over 100% since 2014, with a year-on-year increase of 41.4% from 2016 to 2017. In February 2018, the first Chinese New Year celebrations at City Walk attracted more than 22,000 Chinese and other visitors to the festival.
Her Excellency Li Lingbing, Consul-General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai, said: “China’s film industry, with decades of effort, has grown to become the third largest in the world, creating the largest cinema audience globally and producing many world-famous directors and movie stars. Chinese film makers have created film masterpieces one after another, winning awards at various international film festivals. Under the patronage of the Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China in Dubai and China Film Administration, the Chinese Film Week in Dubai will showcase well-made Chinese movies that leverage state-of-the-art technical standards and highlight innovative trends within China’s film industry. The themes of these movies reflect China’s profound history, its splendid culture and modern development. The films will enhance the Emirati audiences’ knowledge and understanding of China in a way that boosts bilateral cultural exchanges and people-to-people connectivity.”
The Chinese film market overtook the US in terms of volume for the first time in the first quarter of 2018. Since the start of 2014, Chinese investors have also spent over $5bn on equity investments in the US film industry alone, and millions more on movie production.
Meanwhile, beyond lending a backdrop to Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters, the UAE’s film industry is on the rise, with many local and international players choosing the country for its production and post-production facilities. Established free zones are already home to global companies, TV stations, broadcasters, production houses and professionals, while the industry in the MENA region is valued at $26.4bn with growth set to hit $35 bn by 2020.
Hala China is an initiative by Meraas and Dubai Holding that focuses on exploring opportunities that facilitate economic development through tourism, trade and investment. The initiative is also set to feature a year-long calendar of events including food festivals, fashion shows, sporting competitions, as well as music and cultural festivals.