Construction

UAE to curb cladding use after Dubai fire – official

Civil Defence says restrictions will apply to new high-rise buildings

PHOTO: The fire at The Address Downtown hotel in Dubai has raised questions over the quality of cladding materials used in some UAE buildings. Credit: Shutterstock

The use of cladding will be restricted in new buildings in the UAE following the dramatic New Year’s Eve blaze at The Address Downtown hotel in Dubai, an official has said.

Rashid Thani Al Matroushi, director of Dubai Civil Defence, said the UAE Fire and Safety Code would be updated to curb the use of cladding on buildings higher than nine storeys under certain conditions, Gulf News reported.

“If a building owner wants to use cladding, then there needs to be a road around the building that would allow fire trucks to go around the building. If not, then the building should not use cladding,” he was quoted as saying.

Al Matroushi added that for buildings higher than nine storeys, if construction companies wanted to use cladding, they would need to use it on a small section of the building.

“For example, use cladding on two floors, then have two floors made of cement, to prevent the fire from spreading,” he explained.

He added that shorter buildings, such as showrooms, would still be allowed to use cladding, as a fire could be easily controlled.

The move follows the fire at The Address Downtown hotel in Dubai, which has raised questions over the quality of cladding materials used in some UAE buildings.

A UAE-wide series of building inspections has been ordered following the incident, in an attempt to
ensure fire safety across the country.

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