The massive fire which engulfed a Dubai skyscraper. Photo: Twitter
The massive fire which engulfed a Dubai skyscraper. Photo: Twitter

Massive fire rips through 40 storeys of skyscraper on NYE

A MASSIVE fire has engulfed a Dubai hotel close to where the city is about to hold its New Year celebrations.

The Address Downtown was 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 fire at the five star hotel, which is near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper at 828 metres.

Burning debris rained down from the building as firetrucks raced to the scene.

Officials were reported as saying there were no casualties and that the blaze started on the 20th floor from the exterior.

Authorities have said the fireworks display is still going ahead, despite the burning debris falling from the building.

One witness told CNN that she was having dinner in the hotel with her family when she saw flames.

Maha Abouelnebin said: "Oh my God ... that's a fire. ... We decided we needed to get out of there."

She said that hotel staff moved people out of the hotel quickly. "They got us out calmly ... quickly. We were impressed with how easy we got out of there."

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."

Dubai planned to wow spectators with three separate firework displays.

The show was to begin 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.

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.

It is the second blaze at a Dubai skyscraper in less than a year, after the Marina Torch tower was engulfed in flames in the early hours of February 21, 2015.

Hundreds of people were evacuated from one of the world's tallest residential buildings, as a large blaze ripped through multiple floors of the tower.

After firefighters extinguished the blaze, residents could see the external cladding on the corners of the building was charred black and mangled for dozens of floors.

Nobody was killed, but seven people were treated at the scene for smoke inhalation.

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