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Behind the scenes of Emirates’ bold Burj Khalifa stunt with Nicole Smith-Ludvik

Emirates is known for its bold advertising and groundbreaking creativity, but its latest ad surpasses all previous ads. featuring a fully dressed female flight attendant standing firmly and confidently atop the Burj Khalifa at 828 meters above the ground.

Nicole Smith-Ludvik joined a handful of those who have been privileged to stand on top of the tallest building in the world, including His Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and international superstar Tom Cruise, during his filming for Mission Impossible in Dubai. 

The 30-second ad opens with a close-up of the Emirates flight attendant flipping billboards carrying messages in a nod to the famous scene in the 2003 song “Love Actually.  

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As the camera moves away and the scene widens, the viewer soon discovers that the Emirates flight attendant, in her red hat and distinctive uniform, is actually standing at the top of the Burj Khalifa by Emaar, with a panoramic view of the Dubai skyline. 

The ad was shot without a background green screen or any special effects and was preceded by careful planning, training, testing, and strict security protocol.

The woman stood on top of the building at a height of 828 meters, and on an area of its circumference of only 1.2 meters, to accomplish the task.

Emirates had invited the female flight attendants to run for the championship in this advertisement, and although there were some enthusiastic and capable female candidates, but Emirates preferred the option of using a professional skydiving expert to ensure the highest levels of safety and security. 

Safety remained the main priority throughout the preparations and filming of the ad.

A special platform was built with a pillar attached to the top of the mast for Nicole to stand on.

It was attached to the shaft, as well as two other points directly to the top, with a belt hidden under the Emirates uniform.

Filming began at sunrise, and the team members, including an advertising star, had earlier climbed from the 160th floor of the Burj Khalifa, taking an hour and 15 minutes to reach the top.  

They had to climb several levels and internal stairs to reach the top.

The team at the top spent about 5 hours with the daring girl, who was wearing a belt under an Emirates uniform that was attached to a pole with added safety thanks to the special platform installed directly on the top.  

A drone was used in continuous footage to film the entire sequence.

One of the most famous have been filmed from above, the bold Emirates commercial, shot 828 meters above the ground, was designed and directed by the Emirates brand team with the help of Dubai-based Prime Productions AMG.  

The ad will be adapted to different markets across the Emirates network, with relevant messages included, as the first UK TV campaign will be launched.

Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates Airline, said: “We always work to exceed expectations every day through our innovative services, best-in-class products, as well as our advertising.  

“The confidence and calmness of the cabin crew, as reflected in the advertisement, is an expression of the excellence of our frontline personnel in serving and ensuring passenger safety.  

“We are proud to be among the distinguished few who have been allowed by Emaar to photograph at the top of the Burj Khalifa.

“We are also more than proud to display the landmarks of our beautiful city, Dubai.”

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