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Disney confirms Star Wars shoot in Abu Dhabi

After much speculation among fans, official word comes that Star Wars has begun shooting in the UAE

Published: Updated:

It was hardly the best-kept secret, but now it’s official: Star Wars is coming to Abu Dhabi.

After weeks of speculation among fans, Walt Disney this week confirmed that scenes for the much-anticipated seventh installment of the movie series are being filmed in the UAE capital.

Alan Horn, chairman of the company’s film division, confirmed the Abu Dhabi shoot at an event in New York.

“We have to give it that ‘Star Wars’-ian look,” Horn told Bloomberg. “So we need to go to different places that give us the right look and feel.”

Star Wars: Episode VII is the first in the series to be made by Disney, and is scheduled for release in Dec. 2015. The film, directed by J.J. Abrams, will continue the Star Wars saga, taking place 30 years after the events depicted in 1983’s Return of the Jedi.

It is believed that Abu Dhabi’s spectacular Western desert will be used as the setting for Tatooine, a desert planet that will feature in the movie.

In earlier Star Wars films, Tunisia has been used as a setting for Tatooine. But according to The Hollywood Reporter, the “political climate in the North African country is currently too dangerous to house a big Hollywood production”.