Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has commended the work of the emergency services who helped put out the fire which engulfed the Address Hotel on Thursday night.
The blaze broke out on the 63-storey luxury Address Hotel hours ahead of New Year fireworks at the neighbouring Burj Khalifa. A total of 15 people were injured, according to officials, while another person suffered a heart attack.
In a message on Twitter, Sheikh Mohammed, who is also the Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates said: “Proud of our police, civil defence and ambulance services. You demonstrated best in world capabilities.”
He also visited the hotel on Saturday and met members of Dubai Civil Defence, Dubai Police and Dubai Ambulance who participated in managing the crisis and thanked them for their “dedication and professionalism”.
In a statement, Sheikh Mohammed expressed his confidence in UAE citizens and their ability to handle emergencies and crises.
He also hailed the guests staying at the hotel, stating on Twitter: “With you…Dubai continued to shine with positivity and modernity.”
The fire reportedly broke out on the 20th floor of the tower at around 9.30pm on Thursday and spread rapidly. All the guests in the building and those around were evacuated as firefighters battled the blaze.
(Pic credit: Dubai Media Office)
All the guests have been relocated and chairman of Emaar – developer of the Address Hotel – Mohamed Alabbar confirmed that a dedicated team will “ensure that all requirements of our guests are being met.”
“Dubai has once again demonstrated its inherent strength and positivity with the swift, professional, calm and caring response to the fire incident at The Address Downtown Dubai hotel,” he said in a statement.
“Our immediate priority was ensuring the safety of our guests and colleagues, and we evacuated all of them safely in record time in a most orderly fashion. The authorities also ensured the safety of the hundreds of thousands of visitors to Downtown Dubai.
“We also extend our gratitude to the management teams and staff of various hotels in Dubai, who stepped forward unconditionally to support us in relocating our guests. This is a true testament to how Dubai operates as ‘one team.’”
Despite the incident, the spectacular fireworks display to welcome 2016 continued as planned at the Burj Khalifa.