Pledge to restore gutted hotel

Plumes of smoke rise from the 63-storey Address Downtown Dubai hotel, a day after the hotel caught fire on New Year's Eve, in Dubai on Jan 1. PHOTO: REUTERS

DUBAI • Property giant Emaar Properties promised to restore its luxury 63-storey Dubai hotel which was damaged in a spectacular fire on New Year's Eve.

"We are determined to restore it to all its glory, and even surpass the splendid architectural standards," said chairman Mohamed Alabbar.

"Further timelines and plans will be shared as they are finalised," he said.

A huge fire engulfed The Address Downtown hotel three hours before midnight last Thursday, in which 16 people were injured.

Mr Alabbar did not give any information on the cause of the fire.

The Dubai authorities said on Friday: "Security services are investigating the causes and circumstances of the fire."

While the exact cause of the fire is not yet known, investigators have ruled out terrorism, Dubai Commandant General Khamis Matar Al Muzainah told Bloomberg by phone.

A top Dubai security official, General Dahi Khalfan, posted a picture on Twitter of a fire beneath a ledge of the building, saying the start of the blaze had been captured by a police criminal investigation photographer.

"This is where the search begins," he wrote of the picture, which appeared to show a lower portion of the building.

Yesterday, Emaar Properties said in a statement to the stock exchange that a hotel fire should have "no material impact" on the company because the building and risk of fire are covered by its insurance.

Emaar Properties, which developed the 306m-tall Address Downtown, a hotel and resort, is also behind the neighbouring Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower. 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.


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2016, with the headline Pledge to restore gutted hotel. Subscribe