Eon Productions’ co-producer Andrew Noakes visited Abu Dhabi last week in what is described as a showcase tour.
Noakes joined producers from Disney and Universal Studios in a five day tour hosted by the Abu Dhabi Film Commission (ADFC). In recent years the Emirate has seen a number of big film projects, such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Fast and Furious 7 and a number of Bollywood films.
During the tour, the delegation visited a range of locations in and around Abu Dhabi including Emirates Palace, the F1 track on Yas Island and The Lourve on Saadiyat Island. The tour also included taking in an aerial view of Qasr Al Sarab desert by helicopter
Although there is some fan speculation Noakes was location scouting for Bond 25, it seems unlikely at this stage. More likely he was there just to see Abu Dhabi’s facilities and scenery.
Source: Digital Production Middle East
But if James Bond were sent to Abu Dhabi, how would he get on?
Abu Dhabi is part of the United Arab Emirates, and while fairly lenient compared with some Arab countries, Bond would find it’s not just Blofeld he needs to be careful of:
- Licenced to Drink: Before ordering a vodka martini, available in specially licenced hotel bars and shops, 007 would need to obtain an alcohol licence. Drinking without a licence is punishable by up to six months in prison for non-Muslims. Muslims are punished by 80 lashes. And one too many drinks and he’d find himself arrested for being intoxicated in public.
- Bond Girls: As usual on a mission, 007 finds himself sharing a bed with a beautiful foreign agent. He’d better stop right there though. Sex outside marriage is punishable by deportation. Even public displays of affection are illegal. There are even cases where rape victims have been charged with extra-marital sex.
In short, it’s not the kind of place Bond would feel at home and with a questionable human rights record. Studios should steer clear.