Dubai's economic turndown may have halted the construction of Dubai Studio City which began in 2006 but was stopped in 2008, but many Hollywood filmmakers are flocking to the city to film scenes for their productions.
Paramount Pictures recently chose the Burj Khalifa in Dubai to shoot some scenes from "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" starring Tom Cruise.
Some visitors to the tower were surprised by seeing Cruise personally hanging from a rope to land on the windowpanes of one apartment. The photo ended up appearing in many international newspapers.
According to Ahmad Al-Sheikh, who runs the government-owned broadcasting company, he is currently negotiating with three other studios who want to film in the city.
Al-Sheikh told The Financial Times that motion pictures are an important means to promote Dubai at this stage and that it should have been a long time ago.
"Mission: Impossible" is not the first film shot in the United Arab Emirate, said Khalid Majzoub, a journalist specialising in cinema. Scenes from "Syriana" and "Iron Man" were also filmed in the UAE in 2006 and 2008, respectively.
"Bollywood production companies are also attracted to Dubai. These companies filmed some of the most important Asian Cinema productions, including 'Dabaang', starring Salman Khan and directed by Arbaaz Khan. Some of this film's scenes were shot at the Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi and in Dubai Metro," Majzoub said.
"It is clear that the UAE welcomes all films that portray a beautiful picture of the country, provided that they are not averse to the country's conservative customs and traditions," he said.
Abu Dhabi recently refused to give a filming permit to producers of the film Sex and City 2. The city officials cited the film's racy content.
Many UAE nationals welcomed international companies filming movies in their country.
"I do not mind filming in our country as long as the films do not touch upon topics rejected by our society and traditions," said engineer Mohammed Khoury, 35.
Abdullah Ishaq, a 40 year-old employee, said that "the UAE in general and Dubai in particular, is a magnet for world cinema. This in itself is a source of pride because the movie industry can film in the desert, or in skyscrapers and luxury hotels anywhere in the world, but chooses to do so instead in Dubai."
Abdullah al-Mutawa, 32, is of the opinion that shooting the fourth instalment of "Mission: Impossible" is a testament that "the economic crisis did not affect the reputation of Dubai because the financial crisis was global in nature and has affected several countries, not just Dubai".