Dubai, UAE, 2 December 2023: Just five days after Emirates marked the UAE’s milestone achievements in space exploration, the airline has taken to the skies again this time performing a spectacular National Day flypast during the Emirates Dubai 7s.
Flying at an altitude of just 500 feet, the iconic A380 soared over the main pitch at 3.43pm local time, adorned with Emirates’ new signature livery and delighting thousands of spectators. Exactly five minutes later the A380 glided back, saluting world-class athletes and passionate fans alike.
UAE National Captain Mubarak Al Mheiri, Deputy Chief Pilot piloted the flight, joined by Captain Ricky Garala, Deputy Chief Pilot, and Captain Philippe Lombet, Technical Pilot for the Airbus A380. Captain Mubarak has flown with Emirates for 18 years and has championed the airline in seven celebratory flypasts, including supporting the Jetman stunt, leading the opening for the 2023 Dubai Air Show and National Day festivities for the past three years.
The biggest and longest-running sports and entertainment festival in the Middle East, Emirates Dubai 7s is a key date on the Dubai calendar and the 2023 edition is one of the most popular yet, with over 100,000 people in attendance. Constantly evolving alongside the vibrant UAE sport and fitness community, this year’s tournament added Padel to the line-up, joining over 500 rugby, netball, cricket, and fitness teams in a display of athletic prowess. New entertainment offerings included the Shaded Garden, the ultimate boho festival chill zone, and the Kids Stage, providing a dedicated line up of family-friendly fun.
From the skies to the pitch, Emirates is one of the world’s biggest supporters of rugby. The airline is concluding a bumper year for the sport, after a successful 2023 Rugby World Cup in France as the Official Worldwide Partner. Emirates has sponsored the Rugby World Cup since 2007, and the airline will again have a prominent presence at the 2027 World Cup in Australia.
Emirates has also reinforced its support with local partnerships such as the Dubai Hurricanes and UAE Rugby Federation. For over five decades, Emirates has been instrumental in raising the profile of rugby within the UAE, fuelled by the popularity of the Emirates Dubai 7s.