Jordanian influence to the Architecture of the Dune Film 2021?

Again, I’m still amazed by the Dune film by Dennis Villeneuve. The architectural language at Arrakis planet was mind blowing, especially the connections with the Nabatean Kingdom and their utilization of rock carving and plaster finish. However, after a second watch, I have felt that the architectural designer of the movie was inspired, somehow, to a further extent, by the work of Jordanian architects! Please scroll down and check the following screen grabs and photos, and let me know what do you think?


Dune film, 2021.
Sahel Alhiyari Architecture, Instagram, 2021.


Dune film, 2021.
Sahel Alhiyari Architecture, Instagram, 2021.


Dune film, 2021.
Sahel Alhiyari Architecture, Instagram, 2021.


Dune film, 2021.
Sahel Alhiyari Architecture, Instagram, 2021.


Dune film, 2021.
Ammar Khammash Architecture,, 2011.

Loved the Dune film!

That was my first time in Cinemas since March 2020, and I wanted to break my fast with the long-awaited film: Dune!

It’s based on the 1965 novel by Frank Herbert, and directed by Denis Villeneuve, the film is totally mind-blowing in all of its aspects: The screenplay, the fashion design, the architecture and industrial designs, and of course the music score by Hans Zimmer (They said he turned down Tenet to make Dune!) and the other layers like human aspiration, politics and geology!

But, there was another aspect I didn’t know about until I watched the film, it’s the connections with our Arabian culture! So let’s see the following:

– The planet which has the natural resources they want to obtain (Like nowadays petrol) is called Arrakis = Al-Raqis = The Dancer = الراقص

– Paul, the chosen one, was called: Lisan al-Gaib = Teller of things yet to come = لسّان الغيب

– The monstrous worms called Shai-Hulud: Eternal thing = شيء الخلود

– One of the masters in House Atreides named: Thufir Hawat = The Victorious Protector (?) = ظافر الحوط

And many more terms in the original novel (I just ordered it!) 

The other important thing was the filming locations, the main important scenes of Arrakis planet was shot in our very Wadi Rum, Jordan! Plus some additional sand dunes shots of Liwa desert in Abu Dhabi, UAE. That added another astonishing level to the film, Wadi Rum looked super futuristic and archaic at the same time, in some parts we saw structures and architectural forms in the rocks very similar to Petra! 

Imagine the Nabatean people of Petra, living in the year 10191! What would they wear? How do they deal with hydration and water management? What would be their writing script?

And that’s another reason to LOVE Denis Villeneuve’s works, his appreciation for scripts, I remembered my fascination when I watched his ‘Arrival’ in 2016, where the alien creatures communicated with us in a super deciphered and prestigious script! 

Finally, to tribute the film and its makers, I decided to make an Arabic title/logo and some letterings for it:

Dune = كثيب
Lisan al-Gaib = Teller of things yet to come = لسّان
Fear is a mind-killer = الخوف يقتل العقل 
(English line was set in the official typeface of the film; ITC Blair Light)