'Most beautiful' museum, football fever: 5 times Emirates' livery took airline to new heights

Over the years, the Dubai-based carrier has decked its planes with bespoke decals to promote major global events and venues

by Anjana Sankar

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Published: Mon 9 May 2022, 7:06 PM

Last updated: Mon 9 May 2022, 7:09 PM

Last week, an Emirates A380 sporting a picture of the Museum of the Future took off on a 'Journey to the Future’ - to Los Angeles.

Bespoke decals are not new to the Middle East’s largest carrier. In fact, they have become a tradition of sorts over the years.

Dubbed the 'most beautiful building in the world', the seven-storey, torus-shaped museum opened to the public on February 22. The building, which doesn’t have a pillar, has a hole in the middle that represents the unknown.

The museum will serve as an incubator for scientists, thinkers and researchers.

In the air, Museum of the Future A380s will be deployed on routes to key US, European and Arab regional cities. Eventually, 10 of its aircraft will proudly display the livery.

Flying high on Expo 2020 Dubai success

Before the 'world's greatest show' in October last year, the carrier launched an eye-grabbing A380 livery to celebrate the first world fair ever hosted by an Arab country.

The bright blue aircraft livery featured large-scale graphics in vivid green, orange, pink, purple and red. Watch the makeover below:

‘Dubai Expo’ and ‘Be Part of the Magic’ ran across both sides of the A380 fuselage. A brave Burj Khalifa stunt woman, who appeared in the viral Emirates video, was also displayed on both sides of the aircraft, holding a message board that said: ‘See you there’ and ‘Dubai Expo Oct-Mar 2022’.

"This stunt is precisely the moment I have been working hard on for many years — to have a platform to tell my story and inspire the world. The spotlight the Emirates stunt has given me is the perfect global platform to connect with others. I am so grateful to Emirates and my fantastic team," said the stuntwoman Nicole Smith-Ludwig in an interview with Khaleej Times.

Take a look at the dizzying stunt in the video below:

The livery, designed, painted, produced, and installed by Emirates’ in-house teams, was the largest the carrier had painted. A ‘wild spray method’, electrostatic spray guns, and conventional cup guns were used to put on the different colours, including over 2,500 square metres of tracing and masking material.

Zayed’s legacy in the air

To mark the centenary of the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, the Founding Father of the UAE, 2018 was announced as the Year of Zayed.

On the occasion, the carrier paid tribute to Sheikh Zayed by unveiling a special livery on the fuselage of Emirates’ 100th A380 aircraft in November 2017. See how the aircraft was transformed:

Emirates aircraft circled the globe to over 90 cities, including Rome, Sydney, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Buenos Aires, and Accra, carrying the message of Sheikh Zayed.

Staff at the Emirates Engineering Aircraft Appearance Centre spent 119 days installing the decals.

Born free and wild

In 2015, the airline painted two of its jumbo A380s to advocate the cause of protection of wildlife from poaching.

The beautiful livery, featuring some of the planet’s wildlife threatened by poaching and the illegal wildlife trade, was to raise awareness of the illegal wildlife trade and communicate the need for urgent action. Take a look below:

The livery supported United for Wildlife, a global corporate that supports wildlife charities to stop the illegal wildlife trade. The decal on the first flight to London featured six endangered species, while the second flight to Mauritius featured a decal with rhinoceroses and elephants. Both designs covered the aircraft almost from nose to tail, spreading over the wings and underbelly of the plane.

Football fanfare in the skies

Football frenzy has also found its place on Emirates’ planes as the airline is a regular sponsor of some of the top European clubs.

In 2016, it emblazoned seven of its aircraft with football-themed livery to celebrate football partnerships.

The decals were installed on both A380s and Boeing 777s and included club crests and first-team players from Arsenal, Real Madrid, Paris Saint Germain, HSV, Benfica and AC Milan in action. Watch the aircraft's transformation below:


Anjana Sankar

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