Emaar says Address hotel fire will not have a ‘material impact’

The developer said that both the “building and risk of fire” are covered by insurance, in turn limiting the financial impact of the blaze



Dubai developer Emaar Properties has said that the fire at its flagship The Address Hotel Downtown will not have a material impact on the firm.

“The building and risk of fire are covered by insurance so there should be no material impact on the company as a result of this incident,” the listed firm said in a statement on the Dubai bourse.

Emaar’s clarification came after its shares tumbled during the early hours of trade in the Dubai Financial Market on Sunday. Although heavy selling of the stock eased by midday, trading in the company’s shares was down by 2.46 per cent as of 12.10pm. Shares in Emaar Malls Group – the company’s retail arm, were also down by 1.81 per cent at midday.

The blaze at Emaar’s The Address Hotel and the residential tower on December 31, 2015 gutted part of the building and injured 16 people. No fatalities were reported onsite. Hotel officials have had to relocate a large number of guests to temporary quarters.

Emaar is yet to disclose the extent of damage caused by the fire but officials said that the hotel will remain shut until further notice. Emaar Properties chairman Mohamed Alabbar said in a separate statement that the hotel will be rebuilt but did not specify a time by when it will be renovated.

The developer said that authorities were investigating the cause of the fire, which reportedly originated from the 20th floor of the building.

A number of fire accidents at skyscrapers in Dubai over the last few years have raised questions about the safety standards of building materials. Analysts have said that heavy claddings in the exterior of the buildings – often used for decorative purposes – have made them more susceptible to fire.

(Photo credit: Dubai Media Office)

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