Huge Fire In Dubai Hotel Ahead Of NYE Fireworks

UPDATE 1 Firefighters tackle Dubai blaze after all-night effort investigate cause

The fire broke out Thursday in an upscale hotel near Dubai's massive New Year's Eve fireworks display, where hundreds of thousands of people are gathered for celebrations, Al-Arabiya reported.

The Address Downtown Dubai is a five-star hotel in the heart of the city.

The cause of the fire was not immediately clear, although it ran up at least 20 stories of the 63-story building, known as The Address, according to multiple press reports.

The BBC reported that black smoke and burning debris could be seen as firefighters arrived at the scene.

Despite the blaze, a spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks display lit up the sky, centred on the iconic Burj Khalifa tower, close to where the huge fire started just hours earlier. "Authorities are now on-site to address the incident swiftly and safely #Dubai", the hotel chain retweeted. It was also not clear whether anyone was injured.

Throughout the evening, large flames shot skyward from the 244-room luxury hotel, which lies across a plaza from the Burj Khalifa, billed as the tallest building in the world, at about 828 metres. The Government of Dubai Media Office tweeted saying: "Control over 90% of the fire in the hotel within half an hour".

They are the pictures which shocked the globe - the luxurious Address Downtown Dubai hotel engulfed in flames.

Internal fire-fighting systems were "preventing the spread of fire inside the hotel", it said.

Update, 1:45 pm EST: According to the Dubai government, the fire began on the 20th floor, on the exterior of the building.

Eyewitness John Dalziel said he had been told that the fire started on one of the hotel's balconies.

Angus Villar had been on the 15th floor of the building pouring champagne as he and his family prepared to celebrate the New Year.

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