Instagram screengrab
Instagram screengrab Image Credit: @faz3/Instagram and @manuelbassi/Instagram

Dubai: It was the surprise of a lifetime for Manuel Micheal Bassil, a Dubai-based filmmaker, when a notification popped up on his Instagram app on Friday afternoon. Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and Chairman of the Executive Council, had just shared a video that Bassil had filmed – drone footage of New Year’s Eve fireworks at Burj Al Arab.

The 39-second video shows a drone maneuvering through the spectacular fireworks, showing a bird’s-eye view of the pyrotechnics with the popular landmark in the background.

Speaking to Gulf News, the 31-year-old Canadian expatriate, who works as an FPV (first-person view) drone pilot, said: “It’s a life-changing moment that’s very humbling at the same time. Sheikh Hamdan is an amazing person and really understands our work. For him to have shared my video… it’s the best thing that happened during my life in Dubai and the best thing I could wish for to … start the year 2023.”

Bassil, who has been living in the UAE for the past three years, added that he flew the drone with the necessary permissions in place. “I shot the drone video for Burj Al Arab. All the licenses needed to fly the drone were taken ahead of time.”

Bassil had shared the video on his Instagram account @manuelbassil, with the caption: “Flying my drone for NYE fireworks for @burjalarab was truly breathtaking.”

After Sheikh Hamdan shared the reel, it seems to be raking in likes, comments, and views.

The Crown Prince often encourages photographers and videographers by sharing their work on his account. A few months ago, he shared another picture of the Burj Khalifa, clicked by a Dubai-based photographer, making the photo go viral.