A fire has engulfed a Dubai hotel close to where the city is about to hold its New Year celebrations.
The Address Downtown is on fire, with the flames reaching from the ground floor up another 40 storeys of the 63 floor building.
It was not immediately clear what caused the blaze at the five star hotel, which is minutes from the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest skyscraper, where the New Year’s display is due to begin at 8pm UK time.
Authorities have said the display is still going ahead.
Burning debris rained down from the building as firetrucks raced to the scene. No one was injured.
The hotel chain has retweeted another message, which says: ‘A fire has been reported in the Address Downtown hotel. Authorities are currently on-site to address the incident swiftly and safely #Dubai’
The fire, which is only on the outside of the building, started on the 20th floor, according to the account.
Mohammed Al Sarraf, told The National the fire was ‘raging’.
‘It’s gotten so much bigger in five minutes. It’s gone from just a small fire at the foot of the building and now it’s shooting up the middle and the top.’
The hotel is just moments from where the city was about to celebrate the start of 2016.
The city was planning on three spectacular displays, beginning at the Burj Khalifa, which organisers said was fitted with 400,000 LED lights. They said 1.6 tons of fireworks would be used in the display.
The Downtown is just across a lake from the Burj Khalifa. DM.