Jetman – real name Yves Rossy – and his sidekick Vince Reffet are already widely known in Dubai and the Middle East for their amazing Ironman-like videos, but now the world seems to have sat up and taken notice, as their latest carefully orchestrated stunt has gone viral.
The dynamic duo partnered up with Emirates Airlines for a low cruise flight across Dubai, taking in views of the Pam Jumeirah, the abandoned World Islands, the Burj Al Arab and Burj Khalifa as the sun set.
In probably one of the more effective Emirates marketing campaigns – the recent Jennifer Aniston advert in which they took a swipe at various rival US Airlines was not received too well – even Daily Mail online readers, notoriously the most anti-Dubai/Emirates/success/everything group, were forced to admit admiration.
Jetman and Jetman junior performed a flypast Dubai at around 120mph with the Airbus A380 at around 4,000ft. It is the latest in a series of videos, produced with Skydive Dubai, in 4k HD, of some of the ground breaking things people in Dubai are up to.
As the city continues to grow and open its doors to those tired with the monotony of life back at home, more and more creative people are arriving on a daily basis, creating a new wave of exciting evolution in art, music, photography, film, fashion and extreme sports.
While nobody could suggest that the unbecoming wide-boy fraternity do not still have a presence within the emirate, it’s actually those more interested in affecting change and innovation – rather than attending brunches and the selection of very average nightspots – who are beginning to forge a new reputation across the world for Dubai.
This is a place with ambition, and with a determination to attract diversity, something not often associated with the Middle East.
While other oil-reliant countries such as Saudi Arabia may have failed to diversify their financial interests, the emirate of Dubai is leading the UAE in its attempts to build a solid foundation for future generations of Emiratis and international residents – a knowledge-based economy.
Dubai aims to become the first smart city in the world, and is an early adopter of the utilisation of Big Data in order to compile information, and implement the findings to improve services for residents. Dubai already boasts a number of the world’s largest man-made things, which to many internationally is seen as unnecessary flexing, but now that desire for being the biggest and best has tempered somewhat, and, led by Sheikh Hamdan, the Crown Prince of Dubai, projects such as the mission to send a space probe to Mars in 2021 and the smart city initiative prove that Dubai has an ambition to contribute to the world, not just serve itself.
While marketing stunts such as this latest Jetman viral video will do no harm in enhancing the reputation of Emirates airlines and Dubai amongst many, it also acts as an indicator of the lengths the city is prepared to go to in order to be exciting, attractive and innovative in its approach.