Will Smith in Dubai
Hollywood superstar Will Smith nominates Dubai as one of his favourite cities. He has been to Dubai several times, attracted by its adventure, family fun, golf, vision and energy. He tells us why the emirate makes the cut and shares some of the things he loves to do in the city.
The Suicide Squad star tells us why he keeps coming back to Dubai
Dubai gets a rap from Will Smith
Actor Will Smith, star of Men In Black and other big Hollywood hits, has become something of an ambassador for Dubai’s culture and beauty. At a recent red carpet screening of his new movie Suicide Squad, Smith shared his love of the desert city.
"Dubai dreams the way I dream."
Those are the words of Hollywood superstar Will Smith, who visited the emirate for a special red carpet screening of his blockbuster hit, Suicide Squad, in 2016.
Fresh Prince, the name he’s picked up from his 1990s television series, is a frequent visitor to the city and says it is one of his favourite places to be.
"I came here for the first time about 15 years ago, during a time when they said 40 per cent of all of the world's cranes were in Dubai, and the entire skyline was cranes," he said at a press conference held at the Vox Theatre at the Mall of the Emirates.
"When I landed I thought that's how I would build a city if I was making one."
Smith says Dubai's vibe and desire to be the best is what draws him to the city.
"It really flows with who I am. You never know why a city speaks to you," he said, adding: "It's just the energy of progress, the people, the design, the ideas.
"Everything has to be the best in the world and I love that energy."
Destination of the stars
Dubai is fast becoming the destination of choice for top Hollywood film directors, most recently for Star Trek, Mission Impossible and Syriana.
"I've had a couple of film concepts that came through and I've met with the film commission a few times,” he said. "I love it here and would love to be a part of the mining of stories from this region. It's such an untapped commodity."
He wants to bring these ideas to the forefront and said he's working to get the region into the "global stream".
"When I come to the Middle East, I am so inspired by the beauty and the culture, [but] it is not represented in world cinema," he said, adding that to do so is a wonderful opportunity he'd love to be a part of.
Smith says the best way people can tell the story of their place is though film. Cinema, he says, can deliver “the truth of the soul of the place to a global audience.”
Will Smith’s Dubai Day
Adventure, family fun and sports - Smith has done it all in Dubai. His favourite thing to do is "hands down" taking in the spectacular view of The Palm Jumeirah from the sky.
Dubai Corporation of Tourism & Commerce Marketing
"Shout out to my squad over at SkyDive Dubai!" he exclaimed, when asked what his top Dubai activity is. "I brought my kids here and we jumped together."
Once is not enough for the adventurous actor, who admitted he's opted for the adrenaline pumping jump at least five times.
An avid golfer, he said he books in some tee-time while here on what he described as "some of the best courses in the world".
He also takes a cue from 15-year-old daughter, Willow, who visited Dubai in 2015 with her brother, Jaden.
"She FaceTimed me from out in the desert on a camel," he revealed. "That was just so beautiful; a cross of technology with the old style of transportation."
Another bonus? "The Wi-Fi is really great in Dubai!”