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Tom Cruise Takes on ‘Mission Impossible’ to Boost Dubai Economy

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Tom Cruise’s visit to Dubai to film “Mission Impossible IV: Ghost Protocol” will provide a boost to the indebted city’s economy as it seeks to reap the benefits of high visibility in the film industry.

“Twenty years ago you’d read articles about what people are raising money to make movies and what movies are getting made into videos, now you read about a new tax incentive or rebate or some new structure to entice filmmakers to new places,” Executive Producer Jeffrey Chernov said in an interview in Dubai today. “With Mission Impossible being here, many more films will follow.”

Persian Gulf nations are using their oil wealth to attract art, music and film, replacing Arab cities such as Cairo and Beirut as regional ambassadors for culture and entertainment. Dubai hosts film and art festivals, while neighbor Abu Dhabi is building the Louvre and Guggenheim museums and producing films through Abu Dhabi Media Co.

Dubai roiled global markets in November after one of its three main state-owned business groups Dubai World sought to delay repaying loans, sparking a plunge in developing-nation stocks and the largest increase in emerging-market bond yields over U.S. Treasuries in four weeks. The company secured approval from all creditors for its $24.9 billion debt restructuring plan, a company official said yesterday.

‘Beautiful City’

“This is a beautiful city, it’s very cinematic,” Cruise said at a press conference in the Armani Hotel in Dubai today. “The geography is important for these kinds of pictures.”

New Zealand’s government reached an agreement with Warner Bros. Productions Ltd. to keep the filming of two movies based on “The Hobbit” in the country, Prime Minister John Key said yesterday. The country wants the two-film prequel to the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy made in the country to help boost a sluggish economic recovery. Hiring crew and equipment for the original series added about NZ$350 million ($261 million) to the economy in a three-year period to March 2002, and boosted tourism as fans flocked to locations where Frodo battled Orcs in a recreation of Tolkien’s Middle Earth.

Paramount Pictures will make “Mission Impossible IV,” bringing back 48 year-old Cruise after he was fired by the studio in 2006 and publicly criticized by Sumner Redstone, chairman of parent Viacom Inc. Redstone told the Wall Street Journal at the time the studio terminated the 14-year association because of the actor’s conduct, including promoting Scientology and criticizing anti-depressants.

The first three “Mission Impossible” movies have grossed $2 billion worldwide, Paramount said in a statement today. The fourth film, whose actors include Jeremy Renner from “The Hurt Locker” and “Slumdog Millionaire” star Anil Kapoor, will also be shot in Moscow and Vancouver and be released in December 2011, according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ayesha Daya in Dubai adaya1@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Beech at mbeech@bloomberg.net; Stephen Voss at sev@bloomberg.net

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