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Dubai blaze injures 16, fails to stop fireworks at Burj Khalifa

A massive blaze at a luxury hotel in Dubai near the Burj Khalifa caused 16 minor injuries, the Emirates News Agency (WAM) says.

Dubai fireworks kick off as nearby tower burns

Dubai welcomes in the New Year with a spectacular fireworks display even as a luxury hotel fire rages nearby.

Despite the inferno, New Year's Eve fireworks went ahead at midnight from the Burj Khalifa - the world's tallest building - illuminating the sky over Dubai and the huge smoke plume from the flaming hotel about 1 kilometre away.

Most of the casualties occurred as people were rushing out of the building, the Dubai government press office said.

Fireworks illuminate the Burj Khalifa as a tower burns behind it in Dubai on Friday.
Fireworks illuminate the Burj Khalifa as a tower burns behind it in Dubai on Friday. Photo: AP

The Dubai government media office said 90 per cent of the fire was under control.

Witnesses in the area said several nearby skyscrapers were evacuated.

"I was having dinner in the area when we are asked by the civil defence to leave - then we notice the fire," said Ahmed Ramdan, a resident of the area.

Randa, another resident of the area, said: "We heard a loud bang and then saw the fire. I was afraid the whole hotel will collapse on our heads."    

Fireworks illuminate the Burj Khalifa as a tower burns behind it in Dubai on Friday.
Fireworks illuminate the Burj Khalifa as a tower burns behind it in Dubai on Friday. Photo: AP

Earlier reports suggested that the origin of the blaze may have been electrical.

Television broadcasts and images on social media showed flames engulfing multiple floors of the Address Downtown hotel, which stands in an area where thousands of people were gathering to watch the New Year's Eve fireworks.

Smoke billows from the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai on Friday.
Smoke billows from the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai on Friday. Photo: AP

Dubai authorities said the fire started on the 20th floor of the 63-storey five-star hotel before spreading to the building's exterior.

Fire engines and ambulances gathered at the scene to prevent people from approaching the area, witnesses said.

A fire burns in the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday.
A fire burns in the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday. Photo: AP

The hotel is connected to the luxury Dubai Mall.

DPA