Dubai wasn’t going to let a massive hotel fire stop their New Year’s Eve celebration — no way! The city rang in 2016 with an incredible fireworks display, with exploding bursts of color filling the night sky as the Address Hotel burned in the background. Click to see the pics!
It seems it takes more than a 63-story hotel being engulfed in flames to stop Dubai from partying like it’s 2016. As the fire at the Address Hotel continued to turn the luxury building into a smoldering tower, a literal ton of fireworks were lit off to celebrate the New Year, creating a huge mix of smoke, flame and color.
The Address Hotel unintentionally became a firework itself when a blaze reportedly broke out on the building’s 20th floor on Dec. 31, reports CNN. As firefighters worked to contain the inferno, the NYE celebration still took place in the United Arab Emirates’ most populous city. The spectacular display, including a LED light show from the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, left revelers feeling jovial, reports NPR. Of course, those watching were probably glad they weren’t in the hotel that continued to burn.
The cause of what started the fire around 9:30 p.m. local time remains unknown at the time. Jaqueline Hurtado, a CNN en Espanol correspondent who was at a nearby restaurant, told CNN she heard an explosion “like a loud pop,” and thought that the fireworks had started early. Instead, she saw that the Address hotel was ablaze. “That fire was big. The fire was just going so fast,” she said. “It just started burning real quick.“
There were up to two million people expected to attend Dubai for the fireworks display and New Year’s festivities, according to the BBC. With that many people coming, it seems that cancelling the display was out of the question.
However, authorities took precaution, asking people to leave the area around the evacuated Address Hotel as firefighters sought to extinguish the inferno. As the brave workers contained the blaze, celebrities shared their thoughts and prayers, hoping everyone would be okay.
A spokeswoman for The Address chain reportedly told that the hotel had been completely evacuated prior to the fireworks display, according to The Telegraph, though she could not confirm that the building was completely empty. Dubai officials reported that the fire was “90% under control” before the New Year, and that the 2016 celebration would go as planned. And they did!
What do you think, HollywoodLifers? Should Dubai have cancelled or postponed their fireworks display, or do you think they were okay to go ahead with lighting off more fiery explosions in the night sky?