By Andrew White Sunday, 7 February 2010 7:28 AM

Emirates Airlines has embarked on its most expensive TV and print advertising campaign as it aims to win new customers during the current global downturn.

The campaign – called Meet Dubai – is designed to capture the experience of living in Dubai from the perspectives of real people from many parts of the world who now call it home.

Kevin Sacre, from the UK soap opera Hollyoaks, is the only professional actor in the series of ads, serving as tour guide for his personal discovery tour of the city.

The 14 120, 60 and 30-second spots, directed by four-time Emmy winner Michael Noval and filmed in documentary style, represent Emirates’ single largest ad campaign investment to date, the company said in a statement.

The ads encompass much of what makes Dubai unique, including the souks and textile markets, trendy art galleries and fashion, restaurants, resorts and attractions like the Dubai Mall’s aquarium and the only indoors ski area in the Middle East, the statement added.

The ad campaign will air on TV outlets including CNN, CNBC, BBC World, Discovery Channel, Travel Channel, Google, Yahoo, ESPN and others, starting on September 27.

Boutros Boutros, Emirates divisional senior vice president, corporate communications, said: “Some may question our launching this massive ad campaign at a time of economic turmoil around the world but Emirates is confident that there is nothing more important than investing to win new customers. We believe it will surprise viewers and bust certain myths about Dubai.

“The ‘Meet Dubai’ campaign is a refreshing approach to advertising and, we believe, totally captures the essence of one of the most exciting cities in the world. People – our customers and our colleagues – are what makes Emirates successful, and likewise the unique story of our hub destination, Dubai, is best told through the people who call it home.”

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