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Sat 2 Jan 2016 07:13 PM

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Emaar boss says all Address guests relocated after blaze

Mohamed Alabbar praises hotel staff; says taskforce has been set up dedicated to needs of affected guests

Emaar boss says all Address guests relocated after blaze
Inside the Address Hotel lobby in Downtown Dubai after the fire had been extinguished. (Photo courtesy of Dubai Media Office)

The boss of Emaar Properties, the developer behind the blaze-hit The Address Downtown Dubai hotel, said on Saturday that all guests and residents have been relocated across various hotels in the city.

Mohamed Alabbar, chairman of Emaar, said the company had set up a dedicated team from different departments "to ensure that all requirements of our guests are being met immediately".

"We thank our guests for their understanding and patience," he said in a statement. 

Alabbar added: “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.

“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.’"

Dubai police said on Thursday that the building was evacuated and 14 people were lightly injured. A medic at the scene said more than 60 people were treated for mild smoke inhalation and problems caused by crowding as they fled.

The New Year's fireworks display at the nearby Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, is one of Dubai's most celebrated annual rites and attracted thousands of spectators - most of whom were evacuated before the spectacle went on as scheduled.

Alabbar thanked Major General Khamis Mattar Al Mazeina, Dubai Police Chief, Major General Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, Director General of Dubai Civil Defence and the heads, first officers and staff members of all the Dubai government entities who demonstrated their "superb commitment and dedication".

"We especially thank the Dubai Civil Defence officials for their exceptional bravery and hard work. The teams across Dubai government entities are the true heroes. Their noble work gives Dubai’s people and the business community the sense of security, comfort and confidence," he said in the statement. 

Alabbar also praised staff at The Address Downtown Dubai and other Emaar hotels for their "commitment and for putting the interests of the guests first and foremost".

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Ray Chaudhuri 4 years ago

I salute the Dubai Civil Defence for their superb skills and professionalism at the way they managed three major fires in this last quarter of 2015. As always they are trained World Class. My salute also goes to the Dubai Police for their cohesive support during this tragedy. Well done folks, we are proud to be residents of Dubai.