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Posts tagged ‘Abu Dhabi’

The Emirates in 1976 – Abu Dhabi from the air

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – The Bedouin family.

Back in Abu Dhabi, we were given the chance to get a flight in a helicopter. We took the chance.  Early in the morning, we attended the helicopter base where we were introduced to our Pakistani pilot.  We had him for three hours and we made the most of it. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – The Bedouin family

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – A “time bomb” and a Bedouin village

The day after we had filmed the distribution of food rations at Al Kaznah, we followed the rice ration into the desert.  We drove about ten miles into the wilderness to a small camp .   We got stuck in the sand several times, but now, we knew how to get out of it.  (Which is more than our driver did). Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – A “time bomb” and a Bedouin village

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – Sheik Khalifa Rest House and Al Ain

We were given the opportunity to film inside an oil refinery in Abu Dhabi. This sequence would be used in the U.A.E. film and I went to film it for director David Rea who had not yet arrived from England. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – Sheik Khalifa Rest House and Al Ain

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – Dining out

On the road to Al Ain, about eighty miles from Abu Dhabi, was situated the Sheik Khalifa Rest House where we checked in.   Mike Matthews, our camera assistant, and Sid Squires, our sound recordist,  were allocated rooms on the first floor, the top floor. Tony and I were given rooms outside the hotel. In the grounds outside, there was a raised and covered swimming pool. Beneath the pool, placed all around, were rooms with accompanying toilets. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – Dining out

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – The trees in the desert

I had always realised that eating in the Middle East could be dangerous if one wandered into the back alleys.  We had to take precautions.  The crew itself was one that allowed versatility.  Tony Mander, the cameraman, could operate the sound equipment and Mike Matthews could operate the camera, so that should any one of them go down with some local bug, we could still operate.  We still had Osman and Siqseq in reserve. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – arriving in Abu Dhabi

This article follows on from the previous article: The Emirates in 1976 – Doing the deal.

When Yasar Durra, our Middle East Representative at UPITN, told me what was required, in the Emirates, I started some planning.  I estimated that it would need six weeks shooting.  I was not prepared to go to U.A.E. for six weeks, partly because I would have been most unpopular at home and also I had too much to do with other productions. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – doing the deal

In the Autumn of 1976, Yasar Durra, our Middle East Representative at UPITN,  obtained a commission from the United Arab Emirates to produce three films.  One was on the Villages that had been built to house their Bedouin people. This was an attempt to deter them from moving into the towns which were booming with the growth of the oil industry. Sheikh Zayed did not want the untrained, and, at that time probably uneducated, Bedouin doing menial jobs in the new industries. Read more

The Emirates in 1976 – Our fellow guests

We at UPITN had been asked to make three films in the United Arab Emirates.   I was to produce and direct the films which were to be about re-afforestation, the Bedouin Villages and a film about the U.A.E. itself, which will be published in the future. We based ourselves at the Khalidiya Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi.

There was an interesting group of inmates at the Khalidiya Palace Hotel.  There were a large number of British ex-pats and visitors as well as reps from most European countries, the U.S. and Japan. Read more

“It’s our future you’re eating” 1979

In the late summer of 1979, while on holiday, I made several calls back to the office at UPITN to see if anything was going on in my absence.

On one occasion, I was told that there was a letter from OPEC (Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries) asking if we could make them a public relations film. This was about the time that OPEC were getting some stick over the price of oil.

When I got back to London, I got straight into the production. Read more

The Falcons 1977

The Ministry of Information in Abu Dhabi asked UPITN to make a major documentary on the subject of Falcons.  The Arabs are famous falconers and had been known to pay around $100,000 for a Peregrine.

In the deserts of the Emirates, the prey of the falcon was a bustard type bird called a Hubbarah.  The bird was an easy prey, it was cumbersome and was not used to lengthy flight, but almost bounced along, flying a few yards before grounding and walking a while before taking off again.  One assumes that the bird was edible, otherwise, what’s the point. Read more