ALESSANDRA DALY JOHNSON WRITES- The seventh installment of the Fast and Furious franchise was released in the United Arab Emirates on April 2. Since its release, Furious 7 has reportedly grossed $9.5 million (Dh 34,836,000), which makes it the highest-grossing film in the UAE. The prequel, Fast & Furious 6 grossed $5.8 million in the UAE back in 2013. Worldwide, Furious 7 has grossed $1.1 billion. Emiratis are so enthralled with the film that many viewers have gone to see it twice.

Furious 7 was partially shot in Abu Dhabi, which may have contributed to its success amongst Emirati viewers. Emirati newspaper, The National, quotes Furious 7 director James Wan: “We’re definitely one of the first Hollywood films to showcase Abu Dhabi for Abu Dhabi. They couldn’t be more excited to have us here.” The UAE is known for its national pride, so it only makes sense that their citizens would be excited to see their country featured in a Hollywood movie.

Iconic landmarks of Abu Dhabi are shown in the film, which makes the Abu Dhabi landscape recognizable to the average Emirati viewer. Such landmarks include the Emirates Palace and Etihad Towers.

The UAE is also known for its passion for cars, thus making Furious 7 a particularly appealing film. The first Middle Eastern produced supercar, the Lykan Hypersport, proves itself to be a star unto itself as it jumps from one Etihad Tower to another with Vin Diesel in the driver’s seat.

Both the UAE culture and landscape are featured and celebrated in this blockbuster. As Vin Diesel puts it, “Nobody has ever seen this before.”

A “Behind the Scenes” video featuring Abu Dhabi may be watched below.