High-rise tower in Dubai catches fire

Smoke rises from the tip of the Almas Tower in Dubai's Jumeirah Lake Towers neighborhood, Sunday, April 22, 2018. –The Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — A fire broke out Sunday at a prominent skyscraper in Dubai, sending smoke billowing from its roof and those inside fleeing into the streets.

An Associated Press journalist saw firefighters and police on the scene of the blaze at the Almas Tower in Dubai’s Jumeirah Lake Towers neighborhood.

The government’s Dubai Media Office described the blaze as a “minor fire.”

“All employees and visitors are being evacuated and no injuries have been reported so far,” the Dubai Media Office wrote on Twitter.

The Almas Tower, over 60 stories tall, is home to the Dubai Multi Commodities Center, which is also an economic free zone. The DMCC had hosted a conference earlier Sunday in partnership with Asia House called “The New Global Trade Order.”

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The DMCC did not immediately answer a request for comment.

Dubai, a skyscraper-studded city in the United Arab Emirates, has suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises.

Dubai passed new fire safety rules last year requiring that quick-burning side paneling on buildings be replaced with more fire-resistant cladding. Authorities have previously acknowledged that at least 30,000 buildings across the UAE have cladding or paneling that safety experts have said accelerates the rapid spread of fires.