Downtown Dubai blaze: Emaar feeling the heat?

April 2, 2017 4:53 pm


* Three workers rescued from the Address Residences Fountain Views towers

* Emaar is also building The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, set to be the world’s tallest

* Emaar shares suffered their biggest fall in over eight months in March

Dubai Civil Defence has confirmed that the fire that tore through the construction site of the Address Residences Fountain Views towers on Sunday morning is under control. Three workers who were inside the building when the fire started were rescued and transferred to medical teams for treatment, the authorities revealed.

The high-rise Fountain Views complex is being built by Dubai-based developer Emaar Properties, which is also the builder of the mall and the hotel that were struck in the 2015 fire. Emaar had at the time released a statement saying that the building and risk of fire were covered by insurance, so there would be no material impact on the company as a result of the incident.

According to the firm, the insurance payout will result in a writeback of the $81 million provision it made in its 2015 results against the costs of the fire and would be recorded as income in the quarter ending December 31, 2016. Emaar Properties plans to reopen the Address Downtown Dubai hotel by the end of 2017.

The Tower

Last year, Emaar started construction work on The Tower at Dubai Creek Harbour, which is set to be the world’s tallest tower once completed in 2020. The project is a joint venture between Emaar and Dubai Holding, the investment vehicle of Dubai’s ruler and vice-president of the UAE, HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

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Shares in Emaar Properties suffered their biggest fall in more than eight months in March as Dubai’s biggest listed property developer disappointed investors with a dividend of 15 fils per share. Emaar shares fell 3.8 per cent – their biggest fall since June 26, 2016 – the first day of trading in the Middle East after the UK’s Brexit vote sent stock markets worldwide into free fall.

New UAE fire code

An updated UAE Fire and Life Safety Code was unveiled by Dubai Civil Defence (DCD) officials at the Intersec 2017 exhibition in Dubai on January 22, 2017.

Lt. Taher Hassan Altaher, head of DCD’s inspection and permitting section, said the 1,384-page code – 677 pages longer than its 2011 version – has been prepared based on international references and feedback from consultants, contractors, and local property developers such as Emaar and Deyaar.

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A “new connection between fire fighters and safety engineers” has been developed through the code, Altaher said.

A minimum fine of $136 (AED500) will be levied for non-compliance with the code’s new guidelines, Altaher said. An inspector will be based in each fire station who will be assigned a locality for patrol. This inspector will keep track of how many buildings have been inspected, how many comply – or not – with the code, and whether they have been fined.

Civil Defence officials said the code would include fines of up to $13,613 (AED50,000) for each fault uncovered by inspectors.

Picture: Dubai Civil Defence on Twitter

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Hina Latif
By Hina Latif
Journalist
Hina Latif has over six years of media and publishing experience under her belt, spanning multiple magazines and a newspaper in the UAE. She studied creative writing at the University of Oxford and has a Master’s degree in Journalism.



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