Emirates flies Burj stunt to push Expo

Middle East airline Emirates put a stunt woman on the spire of the world’s tallest building in a A380 flypast for a $20 million campaign to promote visits to Dubai and Expo 2020. The ad involved months of planning for the maneouvres around Burj Khalifa and Expo site with stuntwoman Nicole Smith-Ludvik, showcasing Dubai’s ‘nothing is impossible’ spirit.

In the video, Smith-Ludvik stand on the top of of the Burj Khalifa by Emaar holding up message boards. The ad features dynamic aerial views of Dubai and its iconic skyline, and culminates in a flypast over the Al Wasl dome at the Expo site. While the ad looked like it was shot effortlessly, the project involved a lot of planning and meticulous execution.


The focus was on safety when conducting the manoeuvres flying at 2,700 feet and a speed of 145 knots. To mitgate any risk, flight timings were scheduled outside of the peak departures window at Dubai International. The aircraft also appeared as if it was flying close to the stuntwoman as she was standing on the Burj, when in fact it was over a half a mile away.

The campaign will run in 12 languages, debuting across 19 countries on TV, cinema, digital and social media platforms. Since Dubai reopened for business in July 2020, the airline has run close to 15 major global and regional brand and tactical campaigns across 25 countries, starting with its ‘Dubai is Open’ campaign. Expo 2020 runs until March 31.

Click here to watch the behind-the-scenes video and how the ad was shot.




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