Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and Tyrese Gibson, star of the blockbuster Fast & Furious franchise, came to Abu Dhabi last week as part of a four-day press junket that saw international media representatives and industry professionals cover the home theatre release from Abu Dhabi.
Following the incredible success of the theatrical release of Fast & Furious 7, which pulled in over $1.5 billion globally, Universal Pictures Home Entertainment chose Abu Dhabi to host the home theatre release press junket. Facilitated by twofour54 and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority (TCA Abu Dhabi), the event participants included leading press outlets such as the Huffington Post, MTV.com, “Access Hollywood,” Yahoo Movies, Agencia EFE, The Sun News, “ET Canada,” Univision’s “Despierta America,” and many others that experienced an array of automotive and cultural experiences including the Emirates Palace and Jumeirah at Etihad Towers that were featured in the film.
In addition, Tyrese Gibson was interviewed by international and UAE outlets including Gulf News, “ET Arabia,” Abu Dhabi Media and Sky News Arabia, among others.
Noura Al Kaabi, CEO, twofour54 commented: “It is with great pleasure that we welcomed back Universal to Abu Dhabi to build on a successful partnership that resulted in one of the highest grossing movies of all time. twofour54 has built an infrastructure in Abu Dhabi that is “production-ready” for even the biggest of projects and we are delighted that Universal’s experience here has resulted in them returning.”
Al Kaabi added: “TCA Abu Dhabi recently reported a 34% increase in guests from the United States visiting Abu Dhabi during the first four months of 2015 and expects this growth to continue due to greater destination awareness following Hollywood films like Fast & Furious 7 being shot in the capital. Additionally, a recent PwC study found that Abu Dhabi will receive over 300,000 additional visitors through attracting film productions to the capital in 2020 and approximately 1 Billion UAE Dirhams in additional revenue will be generated between 2015 and 2020.”
Stefan Fuchs, General Manager of Jumeirah at Etihad Towers, said: “We are proud to have been chosen as one of the locations for the filming of the movie and very much enjoyed welcoming Universal Pictures Home Entertainment to Abu Dhabi. I am sure in the future there will be many more projects coming to the city. The attractive location, architecture, culture and natural beauty promise stunning production opportunities, combined with the strong proactive work of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and twofour54.”
The selection of Abu Dhabi for the home theatre launch has added to the incredible exposure the emirate received in the movie, according to HE Jasem Al Darmaki, TCA Abu Dhabi’s Acting Director General.
“Hosting a selection of the world’s entertainment, lifestyle and broadcast journalists in Abu Dhabi gave us the opportunity to showcase a selection of our finest attractions, world-class tourism experiences and hotels as a backdrop to a series of live broadcast links and media interviews,” said Al Darmaki.
“A global viewing audience has already witnessed the drama of the vast expanse of our desert landscape and Abu Dhabi’s cosmopolitan city skyline in some of the most dramatic scenes of the movie, and we welcome this opportunity to extend awareness of Abu Dhabi’s diverse, luxury tourism proposition,” Al Darmaki added.
Fast & Furious 7 will be released on Blu-ray and DVD in August 2015 on various dates around the world including 12 August in the UAE.
twofour54 was established in 2008 to cultivate Abu Dhabi’s media free zone and provide products and services to attract local, regional and international media businesses to the Emirate. Tasked with enabling a new generation of creative leaders and building Abu Dhabi as the Middle East’s leading hub for content creation, twofour54 provides world-class production facilities, talent development initiatives and training, and business support services for media companies.
Named after the geographical coordinates of Abu Dhabi, twofour54 is now home to 350 media companies – including Sky News Arabia, Ubisoft, CNN, Fox, Flash Entertainment, M&C Saatchi, Image Nation and Flat6Labs – as well as a bi-lingual freelancer pool and a community of aspiring media talents. twofour54 also supports industry-building initiatives such as Abu Dhabi Media Summit.
twofour54 is a government initiative and is owned by Media Zone Authority – Abu Dhabi. For more information, visit www.twofour54.com