Dubai: A daring advertisement showing an Emirates flight attendant standing on top of the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa has gone viral.
The video shows a woman in Emirates’ flight attendants’ uniform holding placards that read, “Moving the UAE to the UK amber list has made us feel on top of the world.”
She joins only a handful of individuals who have had the privilege to stand at the pinnacle of the world's tallest building – including Tom Cruise and Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.
Once she finishes showing the placards with the white scarf pinned to the red hat fluttering, the camera zooms out to reveal the crew member in the video standing atop Burj Khalifa which is 830 metre-high.
Emirates posted the video on August 5 with the comment: “Reconnect with your loved ones or take a fabulous vacation. From August 8 travel to the UK gets easier.”
"We always look to challenge the norm and push boundaries at Emirates. We do it every day through our innovative services, our best in class product and of course through our advertising. The calm and confidence of the cabin crew you see in the ad is an embodiment of our frontline team, serving travellers and ensuring their safety. We're proud to be among a privileged few who have been allowed to film at the top of the Burj Khalifa by Emaar; and even prouder that we get to showcase our beautiful city, Dubai," said Sir Tim Clark, President Emirates Airline.
While the 32-second video has gone viral with more half a million views on Instagram and tens of thousands on other social media platforms on the airline, several people also cast their doubts if it was real.
It soon turned out that the ad was real and the flight attendant in the video is played by American skydiver and stuntwoman Nicole Smith-Ludvik.
“This is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing and exciting stunts I’ve ever done. A big shout out to Emirates Airlines for your creative marketing idea! It was a pleasure being a part of the team,” Nicole wrote while posting the video on her Instagram page.
“Very, very real”
The shoot was carried out by helicopter and drones filming company Choppershoot, produced by Prime Productions AMG and TECS Event Services.
At 828 metres above ground this marks one of the highest ads ever filmed and was conceptualised and directed by Emirates' in-house brand team with the help of Prime Productions AMG, based in Dubai.
Describing the stunt as “very, very real,” TECS Event Services posted: “Being part of such a special project — not only for the fact that we were trusted to help bring this to life (yes, this is very very real), but also what it means for so many families who have been separated from their families between here in Dubai and the UK. Definitely a project we’ll remember forever.”
Shane Manning, owner and managing director at TECS Event Services, added on his Instagram page: “Just to reiterate — this is very very real with @nicolesmithludvik being stood up there for hours. This human is an absolute rock star.”
Liam Allen, a commercial drone pilot and producer with Choppershoot Productions, also revealed the camera used for the death-defying shoot. “Let’s talk about how to hold a mid-shot. This was an awesome challenge for me and we made sure we used the right tool for the job, DJI Mavic 2 Pro Zoom,” his post read.
Following the addition of the UAE to the UK’s amber list at O4:00 on Sunday, Emirates announced the resumption of services to its busiest long-haul route.
From August 11 until October 30, flights between Dubai and Glasgow will operate four times a week.
Unvaccinated guests travelling from the UAE will be required to have a negative PCR test 72 hours before departure and to undergo 10 days’ home quarantine, as well as follow up COVID-19 tests on day two and day eight. Fully vaccinated guests who had their vaccine administered in the UK, the US or Europe are exempt from quarantine and the day eight test.
The ad was filmed without any green screen or special effects and was the result of rigorous planning, training, testing and a strict safety protocol. At the pinnacle of the building, the main protagonist had a reduced circumference space of only 1.2 metres at 828 metres high to pull off the stunt. A casting call was put out to Emirates' very own cabin crew team and while there were some willing and capable candidates, a professional skydiving instructor was cast to ensure the highest levels of safety.
Throughout filming and in preparation of the shoot, safety remained the main priority. A custom platform with an attached pole was built at the top for the protagonist to stand on. She was attached to the pole as well as two other different points directly to the pinnacle, through a hidden harness under the Emirates uniform.
Filming started at sunrise to catch the golden hour light and the team, including the main star of the ad, began their ascent to the pinnacle before sunrise. The climb took 1 hour and 15 mins from level 160 of the Burj Khalifa by Emaar and the team had to scale several tiers and ladders inside a tube to reach the top. The team was at the pinnacle for around 5 hours with the stunt woman, wearing a safety harness under the Emirates uniform secured to a custom-made platform that was attached directly to the pinnacle. A single drone was used to capture the footage in a continuous take to film the complete sequence