UAE bank ADIB replaces exterior cladding at HQ over fire concerns

New national fire safety codes call for building material revision



Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) is replacing the recently installed exterior cladding of its new head quarters located in Abu Dhabi’s airport road.

The replacement comes on account of the rising concerns of building fire safety and falls under the revised UAE fire safety and life protection code.

Under the amended law stipulated earlier this year, property owners must review the chosen materials for the buildings, ensure that they are not flammable, and if so replace them. Exterior cladding panel maintenance and replacement is also required after a certain date.

ADIB’s chief operations officer, Sagheer Mufti, said that the new cladding will meet the highest local and international standards.

The new HQ is set to be completed in early 2018.

When the amended rules were announced, head of inspection and permitting section at Dubai Civil Defence, Lieutenant Taher Hassan Al Taher, said that the new rules specify how cladding panels should be installed in an appropriate way.

He also noted that although there is “no such thing as fire retardant cladding,” the rules aim to minimise flammability to zero.

Similarly, the law details guidelines and responsibilities for consultants, contractors and manufacturers.

If the laws are found to be broken, the offender may face prosecution and fines of up to Dhs50,000.

The code revisions took place in light of multiple building fires witnessed in the country over the last few years.

According to UAE civil defence teams, many of those fires spread uncontrollably partly due to flammable exterior cladding panels.

This includes the burning of the Torch Tower in 2015 and The Address hotel in Dubai Downtown on New Year’s Eve the same year.

Officials worldwide have stressed the need to ensure that exterior cladding of tall buildings are not flammable.

Cheap aluminum exterior cladding is also believed to be one of the main reasons that the fire last month at London’s Grenfell Tower, which claimed 80 lives, spread uncontrollably.

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