Behind the scenes of Emirates' viral Burj Khalifa shoot

Airline has shared footage filmed 830 metres above the ground

Last week, Emirates airline celebrated the news that the UAE has been taken off the UK's red list with a gravity-defying video, featuring a stuntwoman standing at the very top of Burj Khalifa.

On Monday, the airline shared a behind-the-scenes look at how the video, featuring skydiver and stuntwoman Nicole Smith-Ludvik, was made.

"Hi mum, I'm on top of the world," Smith-Ludvik says with a laugh in the clip, wearing full Emirates airline crew uniform.

"Filming at the pinnacle took rigorous planning and a strict safety protocol," the new video explains, as it shows footage of Smith-Ludvik in a warehouse, rehearsing the stunt.

It was by no means an easy day of work. "From level 160, we climbed for over an hour to reach the top, to make one of the highest ads ever filmed."

The Instagram post clears up a question that has been widely asked of the stunt on social media: was it real?

"Real or fake? A lot of you have asked this question and we’re here to answer it. Here’s how we made it to the top of the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa," the caption reads.

Emirates said with the advertisement, Smith-Ludvik "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 the Crown Prince of Dubai, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed".

"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," said Emirates airline president Sir Tim Clark.

"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."

Of the safety precautions taken, an Emirates representative said: "A custom platform with an attached pole was built at the top for [Smith-Ludvik] 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."

The campaign has gone viral on social media, with more than 586,000 views and 78,000 likes on Emirates' Instagram account.

"This is, without a doubt, one of the most amazing and exciting stunts I've ever done," Smith-Ludvik wrote on Instagram. "A big shout out to Emirates for your creative marketing idea! It was a pleasure being a part of the team."

Watch the full video here:

UAE taken off UK red list

The UAE and Bahrain have been removed from the UK's travel red list, as per the British government announcement last Wednesday, providing a major boost to tourism and allowing families to be reunited.

They join other amber list countries, meaning that people entering most of the UK from these points of origin do not have to pay to quarantine in a government hotel for 10 days.

Passengers arriving from amber list countries need to isolate for 10 days on arrival in the UK but can be released after day five with a negative test result, and this can be done at their home.

Travellers coming from countries with amber status who have been fully vaccinated with inoculations approved and administered in the UK, EU and US do not have to self-isolate but must provide a negative Covid-19 test within two days of arrival.

Updated: August 9th 2021, 1:38 PM
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