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Fire breaks out at luxury Dubai hotel

Emergency services are at the scene.

Updated 18.58pm

A HUGE FIRE has ripped through a luxury Dubai hotel this evening near the world’s tallest tower, where people were gathering to watch New Year’s Eve celebrations, police said.

All residents have been evacuated safely, reports AFP.

The Dubai government media office tweeted that a “fire has been reported in the Address Downtown hotel. Authorities are currently on-site to address the incident swiftly and safely.”

Witnesses near the iconic Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, said huge flames were seen billowing from the hotel.

The flames can be seen at least 20 storeys high. Emergency services are at the scene.

Burning debris is falling from from the building, reports Associated Press. It is not immediately clear if anyone has been wounded in the blaze.

New Year’s Eve celebrations 

Dubai planned to wow spectators with three separate firework displays this evening.

The show was to begin at the Burj Khalifa, which organisers said was fitted with 400,000 LED lights. They said 1.6 tonnes of fireworks would be used in the display.

From there, the fireworks were to light up the sky around the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab and later down near the Dubai Marina. Fireworks also will be on display in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the country of seven emirates.

Official reports are that the New Year celebrations to go ahead in Dubai despite the fire, reports AFP.

Tweet by @Atieh S Atieh S / Twitter Atieh S / Twitter / Twitter

Associated Press / YouTube

The flames can be seen billowing from the building some distance away.

fire 2

Additional reporting AFP and Associated Press. More as we get it…

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