Dubai enforces fire-proven cladding on buildings following scores of fire incidents

DUBAI: Following several fire incidents at high-rise buildings across Dubai in recent years, the Dubai Land Department (DLD) through its regulatory arm Real Estate Regulatory Agency (Rera) said here Saturday it has started the process of taking proactive and preventive measures to reduce the fire incidents in the sheikhdom.

Rera said it is committed “to taking proactive and preventative measures that will reduce the incidence of fire accidents in the Emirate.”

Mohammed Khalifa bin Hammad, Senior Director of the Real Estate Regulatory Department at Rera, said “by replacing building facades that do not comply with our fire resistance safety requirements, we are supporting DLD’s vision of making Dubai the world’s safest and securest residential and investment destination.”

He added that this project has been specifically launched to ensure the safety of residents and save lives, while also preserving the Emirate’s reputation as a leading destination for business, investment, travel and accommodation.

Rera said it is now strongly encouraging all owners to replace non-fire-resistant building facades in collaboration with the city’s real estate developers.

While the fire incidents in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) have pushed insurance prices up for owners or property, it has also opened opportunities for providers of fire-proven cladding material.

“In Dubai, we see rising demand for our fire-resistant cladding material which has helped real estate developers to reduce insurance costs once our product is implemented,” John Peters-Dickie, Director at Odice, a French producer of thermal insulating materials, told Xinhua.

Scores of skyscrapers in Dubai and other sheikhdoms in the UAE witnessed fire incidents in recent years, especially in the district Dubai Marina where three fire incidents occurred in the last 12 months alone.

The 79-storey Torch Tower in the Dubai Marina area caught fire in the night of August 5th this year. While no human losses occurred, the blaze caused massive damage on the building. It was the second time the tower burnt after the high-rise residential building caught fire in February 2015.

Dubai, known for its hundreds of skyscrapers, harbors the world’s tallest building, the 829 meter tall Burj Khalifa, and the world’s tallest hotel, the 355-meter tall JW Marriott Marquis.