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3rd Dubai fire in days forces evacuation of hotel

By NAN   |   07 August 2017   |   8:32 am  
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A small fire broke out a Dubai hotel on Monday, forcing guests and staff to leave, in the third such blaze in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) tourism and trade hub in less than a week.

Several fire engines and an ambulance were deployed at the Movenpick hotel near the Marina district as scores of people gathered outside.

A video of the hotel posted on social media showed thin clouds of smoke wafting around a lower floor.

The hotel said on its official Twitter account that the fire was “swiftly brought under control and guests and staff were safely evacuated.”

Civil defense workers gave the all-clear for people to return inside and there were no reports of injuries.

A blaze shot up the side of a nearby residential tower on Friday, and local media reported that a smaller fire was quickly put out at a neighboring building on Sunday.

No injuries were reported in either of those fires.

The series of fires in tall buildings in the UAE has revived questions about the safety of cladding materials used in the Gulf region and beyond.

NAN reports that in January, Dubai passed new fire safety rules requiring buildings with quick-burning side paneling to replace it with more fire-resistant siding.

Authorities have previously acknowledged that at least 30,000 buildings across the UAE have cladding or paneling that safety experts have said accelerates the rapid spread of fires.

While the new regulations are now in place for construction in Dubai and other cities, it’s unclear how authorities will force owners to replace flammable siding with better material.

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