ABDULLA SAEED BIN HAIDER  Al Kameen 1-1638362705180
Abdulla Saeed bin Haider in 'Al Kameen' Image Credit: Image Nation Abu Dhabi

As the UAE celebrates its 50th year, its film industry has achieved a milestone with the Abu Dhabi-backed ‘Al Kameen’ recording the biggest opening for any Emirati or Arabic-language film in the country.

The action thriller, which is a co-production between AGC International and Image Nation Abu Dhabi, has logged in 170,000 cinema admissions between November 25 and November 29, according to Deadline. Based on these numbers, the Pierre Morel directorial is in competition with Hollywood blockbusters that include ‘Fast 9’, ‘No Time to Die’, ‘Venom: Let There be Carnage’ and ‘Godzilla vs Kong’.

Al Kameen - Mansour Alfeeli-1637931567280
Mansour Alfeeli in Al Kameen Image Credit: Image Nation Abu Dhabi

‘Al Kameen’, which translates to ‘The Ambush’, features an all-Emirati lead cast and has been extensively shot across familiar landmarks in the UAE. The movie tells the true story of the brave attempt to rescue a small group of Emirati soldiers trapped by rebel fighters in a mountainous valley and has been released in the UAE and select markets within the region by VOX Distribution.

More than 400 cast and crew members were involved in the shoot, earning it the accolade of being the largest Arabic-language feature film production ever in the GCC, according to Image Nation Abu Dhabi.

Acclaimed French filmmaker Morel, who is the brainchild behind ‘Taken’ and ‘District B1’ spoke earlier about the movies message.

“‘Al Kameen’ tells the incredible story of a small group of soldiers demonstrating courage, heroism and brotherhood in unimaginable circumstances. Working with a fantastic cast and crew in the stunning natural landscapes of the UAE, we have created a truly compelling story that is true, both visually and culturally, to its real-life inspiration,” he said in a statement earlier.

Al Kameen - Pierre Morel-1637931564951
Pierre Morel directing Al Kameen Image Credit: Image Nation Abu Dhabi

The film had its world premiere in Abu Dhabi on November 22 at Yas Mall, with a special screening in Dubai the following day at Reel Cinemas. Both screenings were attended by Morel, producers Derek Dauchy, Jennifer Roth and the cast, alongside the real Emirati soldiers whose true story from the Yemen conflict inspired the film.

“Demonstrating the epic bravery of a group of Emirati soldiers, ‘Al Kameen’ is a truly unique production for the UAE. As the largest ever Arabic-language production in the GCC in terms of cast and crew numbers, we are incredibly proud of this inspirational film. It is a true testament to the talented crew in Abu Dhabi and the Emirates’ ability to draw in world-renowned industry names,” said Hana Kazim, manager of local film and television at Image Nation Abu Dhabi and ‘Al Kameen’ development executive.

IBRAHIM AL MUSHARAAKH  Al Kameen 1-1638362701118
Ibrahim Musharaakh in Al Kameen Image Credit: Image Nation Abu Dhabi

‘Al Kameen’ stars an all-Emirati lead cast, including Marwan Abdulla Saleh, Khalifa Al Jassem, Mohammed Ahmed, Abdullah Saeed Bin Haider, Saeed AlHarsh, Hassan Yousuf Alblooshi, Khalifa AlBahri, Ghanim Nasser, Mansoor Alfeeli, Hussein Saeed Salem, Abdullah Alrashidi, Talal Al Bloushi, Omar Bin Haider, Ibrahim Musharaakh, Abdulla Al Maqbali, Salem Altamimi, Mohammed Faisal Mostafa, Maitha Mohammed, Yaqoob Thabit, Salim Musabah Khamis Alnaimi, Saoud Al Kaabi and Mahira Abdelaziz.

The film was written by Brandon Birtell (‘Furious 7’) and Kurtis Birtell (‘Medal of Honour’) in close consultation with the soldiers involved in the real-life 2018 ambush that inspired the plot, according to the makers.