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When you would ask a woman to go in front of the camera, in the 60s or 70s there were no women! If you look back at TV news reporters, if they were women they were all from Egypt and Lebanon, or Palestine. You look at Dubai's TV, flip on every channel I guarantee you won't see anyone but local faces. To move to the next level and the next level is on the horizon, not too far.

It's not about giving them the money or making the movie, there is always a purpose. How will you add value to my country and to my people? I don't want you to come, we take your money and then the show is rubbish. They will cut you on one side and protect you on the other. The Film Commission has been very selective so far of what films should come.

Why do you need to make this film, soap opera or drama? And people will say "look, that's the worst thing that Dubai has done! Not because we're picky or we don't like certain people but because we are making sure we're making the right decisions.

Who gets the blame, not only the director and producer but also Dubai.

How important is the idea of being respectful to the culture here, when a project hits your desk? If you came 11 years ago to the Dubai International Film Festival, the type of movies, the genre of movies that are showing today, there was no way you could show them 11 years ago.

From our first meeting, I knew Jamal Al Sharif possessed the stuff great leaders are made of.