EXCLUSIVE: Abu Dhabi’s twofour54 and the Abu Dhabi Film Commission are launching a production rebate from September 1, marking the first major incentive scheme in the Middle East.

The incentive, in the form of a rebate of up to 30% of qualifying spend in Abu Dhabi,will be available for feature film, TV, documentary, advertising and music video production.

Qualifying spend includes goods and services sourced from Abu Dhabi and relevant expenditure on location and studio filming, as well as post-production. Hotel costs and flights booked on Etihad Airways are also included.

“We want to use this to really fuel production in Abu Dhabi – this will be unique in the region in terms of an offering, and a pretty compelling one at that,” said twofour54 deputy CEO Wayne Borg.

“It demonstrates our commitment to what we’re trying to do in terms of developing the eco-system, and really building out and leveraging the infrastructure we’re now putting in place.”

Projects applying for the rebate will be assessed by the Abu Dhabi Film Commission. “Post audit, we will look to pay out the incentive within 45-60 days,” said Borg.

Universal’s The Bourne Legacy recently filmed in Abu Dhabi, and the Emirate is also becoming a popular location for Bollywood films.

Twofour54, a media and creative industries hub, now houses more than 160 companies, employing 2,500 people, which have produced close to 4,000 hours of content. Its technical infrastructure includes 10 fully-HD studios, 23 HD post-production suites and the region’s only Baselight colour grading facility.

The standalone government organisation now also houses the Abu Dhabi Film Commission and the Abu Dhabi Film Festival.