Over the iconic spire of Burj Khalifa looms a giant shadow—a spaceship come to hover over Dubai, forcing residents into lockdown in fear of the impending apocalypse, and revealing the stark differences between an interracial couple now stuck at home together.

Though it might sound like a too-close-to-home parable, the scene is from the UAE’s first ever science fiction feature, which has just been picked up by Netflix. Released in UAE cinemas in 2016 and produced entirely in Dubai, Aerials was lauded at the time for its visual effects and production value, creating an epic of Arab futurism using the same equipment as Hollywood blockbusters. 

The film took three years for director S.A. Zaidi and producer Ghanem Ghubash -- who together make up the production house ‘Fat Brothers Films’ -- to make, completely self-funded by the duo. “It is a big feat to be showcased on Netflix so we are very proud that a UAE-based film has been accepted on the streaming platform,” commented Zaidi.

Aerials is now available to watch on Netflix.