Huge blaze engulfs housing tower in Dubai’s JLT

Tamweel Tower goes up in smoke leading to hundreds of tenants being evacuated


Replacing the flammable cladding is probably not going to happen. At least the landlords using these flammable cladding should be made to install a sprinker and sensor on each piece of cladding to mitigate the risk of fire.

Solid aluminum

Looking at the video footage this fire spread was most probably caused by the facade cladding, i.e. cheap combustible aluminium composite panels. I recall that during the mid 2005 our European principal promoted solid aluminium sheet instead to prevent exactly this type of scenario. It is only marginally more costly than the ACM used. We even made countless presentations to all facade cladding companies and architectural firms and to some municipality departments and even insurance companies. Nobody was interested, and even tried their best to ignore the subject completely. Our final conclusion - the use of flammable facade cladding will eventually lead to disaster, and then it will become the new asbestos for the building industry in the UAE. Meaning remedial action involving the removal and disposal of these dangerous materials costing enormous amounts of money. No need to guess who will pick up the tab...


If they compare the composite panels replacement cost, water out let from the roof top folding towards cladded portion will be cheaper. Again, you can have an additional high-pressure manual pump alone than a 3 level automatic backups. But, when your sprinklers start simultaneously, additional floor level tank take should take care of that.

Finally, no one can afford to sit and wait more to happen every few months. Authorities should take corrective actions as soon as possible.


Even more and more are PVDF composite panels... There is a reasonable remedy proposed in one of the post to have a double sprinkler in balconies. As long as your building has those panels, you cannot ignore the risk.

It will keep happening one after the another. So far, none of the contractors or suppliers to defend what they installed against external fire. Remodification or replacement with safe panels for so many buildings can be a big market. But again, in this recession, you get orders but not payment.


The high rise authorities need to mandate and implement automated sprinklers in balconies for all buildings as most fires seem to start there with nothing stopping them from spreading onto the facade and into the apartments, unless some people get drenched in a deluge of water they will not stop lighting barbecue's there!


I used to live in one of JLT towers where false fire alarm used to trigger many times/day, every day!

Overtime people started to just ignore it...

It's really puzzling how millions are spent on those towers while disregarding a small cost for taking safety equipment and regulations more seriously. But guess lessons will be learned when no one would by properties in JLT!!


I agree with Jack, I was up in the balcony from 2 am - 5 am and the police was up and on spot with making sure that everyone is safe!


Thousands of apartments are empty, why do we run behind the panel cladded building? It is just a material used in the exterior of those luxury buildings. Though human risk is minimal, material and monetary damages will be too high for the tenant or owner, especially structural strength aftermath.

Entire city is a non-smoking zone, what they left over is their house. Again, they cannot smoke inside the house having kids around and confined to balconies. Now, Can anyone guarantee a person staying above can double check his cig butts all the 365 nights? Also, flame from one of those kitchens can reach the panels. This material can go so quick even sprinklers or few fire extinguishers cannot reach outer surface of the building.

Remember, irrespective of luxuries inside, those panels were flooded from cheap markets to meet the deadlines. Replacement is a remote option in this recession. Better to stay away.

UL/FM standard equipments were just in paper those days.

Robert Wombwell

Very frightening! I would not want to live in a high rise in Dubai. I wonder how the firebrigade coped with this one?

I've lived in Dubai 10 years now and have seen a lot of fires, mainly warehouse and there was the Atlantis hotel fire just before it was due to open.

I hope everyong got out safely.

I wonder if this was due to poor constuction standards?

We'll have to wait and see what comes out or if there will be a cover up....

Punky Brewster

Just an after-thought...... How come some witnesses reported seeing lights & TV's on AFTER the fire's been extinguished? I hope it's just a rumour, but the FIRST thing in fire safety is to cut off the power. My own experience has taught me this.... Either the bldg maintenance wasn't aware of the safety exrcise or the Civil Defence rescuers weren't aware of the power being turned off. Things that make me go hmmm.....


Agreed. Sad to say, that is not a rumor. My building next to the tower was evacuated and, all night long, you could see into the apartments in which residents fled and left lights and televisions on. No doubt this contributed to the spread of the fire.


I'm so glad I no longer have to live in an apartment building/tower. When we used to live in apartments, we experienced fires breaking out (usually in someone's kitchen) more than once. No fire alarm went off... no sprinkler system... and the apartments didn't have fire extinguishers. These days I live in a villa and I have a fire extinguisher (bought it myself) near my kitchen. If your landlord doesn't provide one, then every person should be responsible and go to a hardware store and purchase one. They are easy to use (we have one with powder) and are good to stop electrical fires, for example. Fire safety and awareness in this country still has a long, long way to go unfortunately...


I think this may be the beginning of a scandal...


Nope, this will disappear from the news in less than 48 hours.
Eventually the poor quality (materials and craftsmanship) of many of Dubai buildings will show.
Have fun.


It is a miracle that there are no casualties in these tower fires! The no of times fire alarms go off in these high rises is "alarming" and a major fire was waiting to happen. The authorities need to go further that the 10 lb dry powder fire extinguisher precaution they need to put in place a plan for higher floor residents evacuation in case of a lower floor in building fire, shudder to think what would happen if the fire escape staircase were to be gutted!


@procan; All of these towers have automated protection systems including sprinker systems and automated alarms in every single room and that is why we do not have towering inferno's here despite the despicable habits of people who cannot simply quit throwing lit cigarette butts, lighting charcoal barbecue grills and shisha's in balconies where there are no fire protection systems (which the authorities need to implement i guess!), i mean how much brain does it take to realize that those still burning embers can ignite anything in the balconies below! The towers are burning down despite having protection systems in place hence the only area that needs to be reinforced is evacuation i guess!


procan, what makes you think there aren't any sprinklers installed? All new buildings are fitted with a comprehensive fire fighting system. But that doesn't guarantee you that it'll work when the time comes, at least not here...


I am a little shocked that every one of theses new Towers does not have a built in sprinkler system ?It is standard in North american building codes for many years. My God its just part of the cost of building a Modern building. These are basic regulatory matters. It is kind of scary to think if the most fundamental building standards are ignored what else has been short changed in theses magnificent structures. .The first line of protection in high Rise towers is it automated protection systems. My thoughts a prays to the family's imparted by this tragic fire.


i live here around 7 Am it was under control they did a great job

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