13 user 4 critic

City of Life (2009)

Not Rated | | Drama, Romance | 23 September 2010 (Kuwait)
A privileged young male Arab at odds with his cultural identity and his less fortunate street smart friend; a disillusioned Indian taxi driver who bears an uncanny resemblance to a famous ... See full summary »


Ali F. Mostafa


Jonny Brown (screenplay), Ali F. Mostafa (story and screenplay) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview, first billed only:
Alexandra Maria Lara ... Natalia Moldovan
Sonu Sood ... Basu / Peter Patel
Saoud Al Kaabi Saoud Al Kaabi ... Faisal
Jason Flemyng ... Guy Berger
Natalie Dormer ... Olga
Yassin Alsalman Yassin Alsalman ... Khalfan (as Yassin 'The Narcisyst' Alsalman)
Ahmed Ahmed ... Nasser
Javed Jaffrey ... Mr. Khan (as Jaaved Jaaferi)
Susan George ... Constance
Habib Ghuloom Habib Ghuloom ... Faisal's Father
Ahmed Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah ... Rashid
Saleh Al Dhahiri Saleh Al Dhahiri ... Abdul
Har Taimor Har Taimor ... Abdul's Brother
Nitin Mirani Nitin Mirani ... Kashmiri Cabbie
Abdulaziz Al Kaabi Abdulaziz Al Kaabi ... Rich Friend 2 (as Abdal Aziz Al Kaabi)


A privileged young male Arab at odds with his cultural identity and his less fortunate street smart friend; a disillusioned Indian taxi driver who bears an uncanny resemblance to a famous Bollywood star; and a former Romanian ballet dancer now working as a flight attendant and searching for love and companionship ... these individuals all live in Dubai and their lives are about to collide for better or for worse in a city where ambition, growth and opportunity are encouraged and dreams can still manifest. "City of Life" is an urban drama that tracks the various intersections of a multi-ethnic cast, examining how random interactions and their consequences can irrevocably impact another's life. As the name suggests, City of Life's inordinately humane kaleidoscope of converging experiences introduces a city that is in itself a living pulsating character. "City of Life" ultimately reveals how unexpected tragedy and loss can lead to hope and profound transformation as it explores and ... Written by Tanya Wagner

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Every day you can change another persons life without ever knowing it.


Drama | Romance


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site | See more »


Arabic | English | Hindi

Release Date:

23 September 2010 (Kuwait) See more »

Also Known As:

Dubai álmok See more »


Box Office


$7,500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Afmfilms, FilmWorks See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Natalia is from Bucharest. Alexandra Maria Lara, who played her, was born in Bucharest but her family fled Romania when she was a kid. See more »


References Aar-Paar (1954) See more »


Get Me Out
Performed by Jonas Desai
Produced by Reiner Erlings
See more »

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User Reviews

Promising debut from a talented Emirati director
5 May 2010 | by tristanmarchettiSee all my reviews

I've convinced my movie-addict French neighbor to come discovering the first Emirati movie with me last night and we've both been thrilled by this experience! We've both been living in Dubai for a few years and everything in this movie was talking to us: the character, the story, the atmosphere and the sets of course. Debuting director Ali F. Mostafa has done an excellent work in depicting these different lives and their destiny in this cosmopolitan city, capturing smartly the essence of the Dubai "cultural melting pot" without falling in the stereotype. Acting was good in general for the whole cast (special mention to Yassin Alsalman aka Khalfan and Sonu Sood aka Basu), the photography was capturing Dubai atmosphere with just the right tone and the cool soundtrack was giving a arty note to the movie, reminding me a bit of what is being done in the US independent production the last years (Anderson or Reitman). City of Life is not free of defects though: the fighting scenes look a bit like cartoon (watch the local martial art in dish dash!), the social class rivalry between Emiratis would have benefited from further development and some elapse effect in the narration dilute the emotional impact of certain scenes (the scene with Natalia at the hospital), but these minor reproaches do not erode the pleasure you will feel watching City of Life and remember this is only the first movie of Ali F. Mostafa! Now would this movie talk to somebody not living in Dubai? I would say definitely yes as City of Life stands alone as a good piece of cinematography with a captivating story. I hope this movie will get the chance to have an international career and I wish foreign audience will witness the birth of a new talented Emirati director as we did yesterday. Spread the word!!!

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