By now, it’s no secret the UAE is seeing a significant uptick in interest from filmmakers eager to immortalise its rolling desert dunes in a growing number of Hollywood film releases. Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ opening scenes were shot in the emirate, for instance, as was the most recent instalment of Tom Cruise’s Mission: Impossible franchise. Plus, Netflix’s biggest-budget movie to date, the $125m Six Underground, starring Ryan Reynolds and directed by Michael Bay, begins shooting in Abu Dhabi this November for up to six months. Rumoured to feature in the movie are the twisting, honey-hued Al Wathba fossil dunes: largely unknown to tourists (even some residents, in fact), the formations are just a 30-minute drive from the city centre and are free to visit. Formed from wind-whipped ancient rock, the gnarly golden formations are punctured with holes, forming eerie, otherworldly towers that could stand in for the surface of some far-flung planet any day. To get to the biggest formations, take the E30 towards Al Wathba and look for the turn-off just after the Wetland Reserve.