By Staff writer
Dubai's Events Security Committee chief says plans to 'avoid any negative aspects' after Address Hotel fire overshadowed last year's New Year's Eve celebrations
Dubai has vowed to learn lessons from the past to ensure that this year's New Year's Eve celebrations go off without incident after a major hotel fire overshadowed last year's event.
According to news agency WAM, Dubai's Events Security Committee (ESC) held a meeting in Dubai on Sunday to discuss arrangements for the New Year's Eve celebrations.
The meeting, which was presided over by Brigadier Abdullah Ali Al Ghaithi, director of the general department of protective security and emergency at Dubai Police, reviewed security and safety arrangements.
The celebrations will take place on December 31 at Burj Khalifa, reaching its climax at midnight with a fireworks display.
"We must all be one hand in seeing that this big event is staged safely, and we have to learn lessons from the past to avoid any negative aspects," Al Ghaithi said.
He said the Committee is currently developing a comprehensive security plan for the celebrations, that will take into consideration all potential threats, including traffic congestion, which remains one of the biggest challenges.
Last year, a fire engulfed one of Dubai's most prominent hotel skyscrapers ahead of New Year's Eve fireworks.
The Address Downtown Dubai was quickly evacuated with only minor injuries reported, and authorities went ahead with a New Year's fireworks display at the 160-storey Burj Khalifa tower a few hundred metres away.
Flames shot skywards from one side of the hotel, owned by developer Emaar Properties which stands across a plaza from the Burj Khalifa tower where people had gathered for the fireworks show.