Photographer escapes blazing skyscraper in Dubai, recounts his harrowing experience


A photographer recounts his harrowing experience of being trapped on a ledge metres away from the raging fire engulfing a skyscraper in Dubai. The incident happened at 9:30pm on the New Year’s Eve.

When the fire broke out, the photographer, who preferred to be anonymous, was on the 48th floor of that 63-storey luxury hotel named The Address Downtown Dubai. He found himself trapped as the fire quickly spread and ascended the building. However, he managed to escape the floor and land onto a narrow ledge underneath the balcony by attaching a nearly 30-metre heavyweight cable into his belt.


Image Courtesy: Al Jazeera

Even that ledge was not safe as the fire was huge and quickly ascending. However, he kept his head and called and texted his colleagues for help. Eventually, the rescue workers saved him from that ledge.

The newspaper photographer was on that building to take pictures of fireworks cracked on the New Year’s Eve.

The fire created a mass mania among the guests of the hotel. Fortunately, no casualty was there except a few minor injuries. Only one guest suffered a heart attack after being evacuated.


Image Courtesy: Press Herald

Dahi Khalfan, Dubai security boss General, tweeted a picture of the blazing hotel with the caption, “this is where the search begins.” Officials have been investigating the matter and they primarily located the outside of the hotel’s 20th floor as the spot from where the fire had started. However, the exact cause of the blaze was yet to be known.

In the meantime, the local residents started hashtag #NeedAnAddress on Twitter, offering shelter to the evacuated guests. One resident Faizan Zamal tweeted, “We have sofas, sleeping bags and an endless supply of love. Plus Nutella. #needanaddress #mydubai You’re not alone. You’re home.”

Emaar’s hospitality group owns the building, which is the 18th highest in Dubai and 93rd in the world.


Image Courtesy: Telegraph

Dubai is a popular tourist destination that has come to the limelight in recent years for planning and executing a couple of grand skyscraper projects. However, the city also suffered a number of harrowing blazing incidents in the past several years.

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Rehana Akter

Rehana Akter is a freelance writer who loves writing about a little bit of everything. She has experience in article, blog post, and news article writing. She loves exploring new topics and subjects and writing on them with a touch of creative flair. Her writing style morphs itself according to the target audience and the required parameters.Rehana is a native Bangladeshi who is currently based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. She has been into freelance writing for more than five years.