As hordes of spectators gathered around the base of the Burj Khalifa to witness the spectacular New Year’s Eve fireworks, they instead witnessed one of the most horrendous fires the region has seen as The Address Downtown Dubai hotel went up in flames.
At 9.30pm on December 31, residents and guests inside the 63-storey hotel were evacuated. According to official reports the evacuation process took no more than 20 minutes.
Miraculously no-one was killed in the blaze at The Address Downtown Dubai hotel, which is believed to have been started buy a curtain fire. According to Dubai authorities 16 people suffered minor injuries, with only two victims, including a pregnant woman, remaining in hospital overnight for observations.
Videos have since emerged showing the devastating damage to the hotel, while His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, has visited the scene and praised the hard work of the firefighters, police officials, rescue and ambulance team who worked tirelessly to put out the fire and help casualties.
In fact, the Sheikh took to social media to share a powerful image of two firefighters looking exhausted in the aftermath.
It has since emerged that the Dubai ruler’s son, Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum was one of the many brave fighters among Dubai Civil Defence officers.
It is reported that residents and guests have since been able to return to the hotel to collect their belongings, while an Emaar source has revealed that the hotel will be fully restored.
Chairman of Emaar Properties Mohamed Alabbar said in a lengthy statement: “[The hotel] has set world-class benchmarks in the hospitality industry, and we are determined to restore it to all its glory, and even surpass the splendid architectural standards. Further timelines and plans will be shared as they are finalised.”
Talking about Sheikh Mohammed’s support and the hard work from the Dubai Civil Defence, he added: “We are extremely thankful to the leadership and guidance of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, for keeping our morale high, and for his prompt directives that enabled us to deal with a challenging situation with utmost professionalism.
“Within minutes of the incident, Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Police, Dubai Ambulance Services, the RTA, Dubai Heath Authority and the all governmental authorities concerned, coordinated and responded with maximum efficiency.”
Images: Getty and Instagram