DUBAI (REUTERS) - A fire engulfed The Address Hotel in downtown Dubai in the United Arab Emirates hours before a large fireworks display was set to start nearby from the Burj Khalifa tower, the world's largest building, a Reuters witness said.
At least 16 people were injured in the blaze, the emirate’s government said later.
“At least 14 people have been slightly injured, along with one medium injury, and a heart attack case registered due to people pushing” amid the smoke, Dubai’s government media office tweeted. It added that no children were among those hurt.
Authorities reportedly evacuated all of the Address Hotel guests, Rashid. Firefighters have contained most of the blaze, he said. The cause of the fire isn't yet known, he said.
Meanwhile, Dubai's New Year celebrations proceeded on the dot at midnight with a massive fireworks display from the Burj Khalifa - even as the fire continued to rage.
Witnesses saw flames rising through the center of hotel with smoke billowing out.
The Address Downtown was developed by Emaar Properties PJSC, which was also behind the neighboring Burj Khalifa, Bloomberg reported.
A second Address Hotel is situated close by. All three buildings overlook the Dubai Mall and fountains, the focal point for the emirate's New Year's celebrations.
The blaze comes almost two years after a fire ripped through the Dubai Marina Torch, one of the world's tallest residential buildings, according to Bloomberg. In 2012, the Tamweel tower in the Jumeirah Lake Towers district neighboring the marina was also wrecked by fire.