Video: Huge waves lash Dubai in ‘Geostorm’ releasing next week

The movie stars Scottish actor Gerard Butler


As a mammoth wave from the Persian Gulf rises up to drown fleeing beachgoers and wash over downtown Dubai and the world’s tallest building, you can be forgiven for thinking you’ve seen this all before.

The coming film “Geostorm” marks just the latest movie in which Western filmmakers put the commercial capital of the United Arab Emirates in their crosshairs.

The UAE offers an attractive, tax-free shooting environment and Dubai’s futuristic, skyscraper-studded skyline as a backdrop. But amid all the computer-generated destruction, viewers are offered only rare glimpses of Emiratis, and learn little about the country or the surrounding region.

“It’s just kind of like this futuristic city that exists only to be destroyed in a very dramatic way,” said Dale Hudson, an associate professor of film and new media at NYU Abu Dhabi. “For audiences in the U.S. used to Hollywood, it’s just another city… It’s not the Middle East, where they assume it’s going to be religious conflict or oppression of women or all the different stereotypes they have. It just kind of normalizes it.”

In “Geostorm,” opening on October 19 in the UAE and starring Gerard Butler, satellites stop all natural disasters until something goes wrong. Dubai is then apparently swamped by the Persian Gulf, despite the fact that its warm waters are rarely deeper than 90 metres (295 feet). More info