A fire in a residential building in Dubai killed 16 people and injured nine in a popular area of this wealthy Gulf emirate on Saturday, local media reported. The fire broke out at midday on the fourth floor of a building in Al-Ras, an old district of the city, where many foreign workers live. “Preliminary investigations show that a lack of compliance with building safety and security requirements” is the cause of the fire, according to a statement from the Civil Defense, quoted in the press. The nationality of the victims has not been revealed.
Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, has approximately 3.3 million inhabitants, of whom almost 90% are foreigners. “The competent authorities are carrying out a thorough investigation in order to provide a detailed report on the causes of the accident,” the statement said.
The Dubai media office did not immediately react. The city has experienced spectacular fires in the past, causing extensive damage but few casualties. In 2017, the authorities announced the adoption of stricter building regulations to minimize the risk of fire, attributed mainly to easily flammable materials used for the exterior cladding of buildings.