News reports and Twitter is buzzing about a large fire at The Address, a 63-story hotel/residential building in Dubai. For those unfamiliar, this property is attached to the Dubai Mall and adjacent to the Burj Khalifa and the epicenter of Dubai’s New Year celebrations.
There has been no reports of injuries or casualties yet, but given the imagery I think unfortunately there will be some loss of life.
Given the stature of the tourism industry in Dubai and the Expo 2020, I can imagine Dubai officials will want to downplay this event to avoid deterring tourists from visiting the Emirate.
Based on my own speculation, it is likely this blaze is related to the massive fireworks display for New Year’s in this area. The buildings surrounding the the Burj Khalifa are used as launching platforms for the fireworks, which if you haven’t seen before are quite spectacular.
This is rather unfortunate situation and the most unfortunate of times. Let’s hope that any casualties (if any) are kept to an absolute minimum. If anything this re-iterates knowing where emergency escape routes are plans are when you stay a hotel. While we often don’t even look at them, even taking a glance at the information can be life-saving.