DUBAI: A huge fire ripped through a luxury Dubai hotel yesterday near the world’s tallest tower, where people were gathering to watch New Year’s Eve celebrations, police said. The Dubai government media office tweeted that a “fire has been reported in the Address Downtown hotel.

Authorities are currently on-site to address the incident swiftly and safely”. Witnesses near the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, said huge flames could be seen billowing from the hotel. Images aired on the Dubai-based Al-Arabiya news channel showed a high-rise building with fire engulfing dozens of storeys.

Dubai authorities said earlier yesterday that they had deployed thousands of security personnel to ensure visitors and residents could enjoy the New Year’s festivities safely. The emirate had promising a “spectacular” fireworks display that was set to kick-off at midnight from the Burj Khalifa before spreading to various locations across the city. — AFP

Dubai fire
DUBAI: The Address Downtown hotel is seen engulfed in flames a few hours before New Year celebrations yesterday. — Phot by Dr M Ziad Al-Alyan