Blaze engulfs Dubai skyscraper near world's tallest building

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
Fire Rages at 63-Story Dubai Hotel

DUBAI -- Fire engulfed a 63-story skyscraper in downtown Dubai near the world's tallest building on Thursday night, but the block was successfully evacuated and there were only light injuries, the emirate's police chief said.

Tongues of flame shot skywards from one side of the luxury Address Downtown Dubai hotel and residential block, which stands across a plaza from the 830-meter Burj Khalifa tower where people were gathering for a spectacular fireworks display due to mark the start of the New Year. Television pictures showing pieces of blazing debris raining down.

See more images of the alarming fire:

24 PHOTOS
63-story fire in Dubai on New Year's Eve
See Gallery
Blaze engulfs Dubai skyscraper near world's tallest building
A fire runs up some 20 stories of a building in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015. The fire broke out Thursday in a residential building near Dubai's massive New Year's Eve fireworks display. It was not immediately clear what caused the fire near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest skyscraper at 828 meters (905 yards). (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
People watch as flames rip through the Address Downtown hotel after it was hit by a massive fire, near the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, on December 31, 2015. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire, with the cause of the blaze still unknown according to the emirate's police chief. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
This image taken from AP video shows smoke and flames pouring from a residential building, which also contains the Address Downtown Hotel, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday evening, Dec. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
Smoke and flames pouring from a residential building, which also contains the Address Downtown Hotel, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday evening, Dec. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Smoke and flames pouring from a residential building, which also contains the Address Downtown Hotel, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday evening, Dec. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
This image taken from AP video shows smoke and flames pouring from a residential building, which also contains the Address Downtown Hotel, in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Thursday evening, Dec. 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
A picture taken on December 31, 2015 the Address Downtown hotel burning after huge fire ripped through the luxury hotel near the world's tallest tower, in Dubai. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire without causing casualties, according to authorities. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on December 31, 2015 shows people watching the Address Downtown hotel burning after huge fire ripped through the luxury hotel near the world's tallest tower, in Dubai. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire without causing casualties, according to authorities. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on December 31, 2015 shows people watching the Address Downtown hotel burning after huge fire ripped through the luxury hotel near the world's tallest tower, in Dubai. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire without causing casualties, according to authorities. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on December 31, 2015 the Address Downtown hotel burning after huge fire ripped through the luxury hotel near the world's tallest tower, in Dubai. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire without causing casualties, according to authorities. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch smoke from a fire that ripped through the Address Downtown hotel, billowing past the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower in Dubai on December 31, 2015. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire without causing casualties, according to authorities. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on December 31, 2015 shows the Address Downtown hotel burning after huge fire ripped through the luxury hotel near the world's tallest tower, in Dubai. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire without causing casualties, according to authorities. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke from a fire that ripped through the Address Downtown hotel, billows past the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest tower in Dubai on December 31, 2015. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire without causing casualties, according to authorities. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A picture taken on December 31, 2015 shows people watching the Address Downtown hotel burning after huge fire ripped through the luxury hotel near the world's tallest tower, in Dubai. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire without causing casualties, according to authorities. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Flames rip through the Address Downtown hotel after it was hit by a massive fire, near the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, on December 31, 2015. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire, with the cause of the blaze still unknown according to the emirate's police chief. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
Flames rip through the Address Downtown hotel after it was hit by a massive fire, near the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, on December 31, 2015. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire, with the cause of the blaze still unknown according to the emirate's police chief. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A man takes a selfie as flames rip through the Address Downtown hotel after it was hit by a massive fire, near the world's tallest tower, Burj Khalifa, in Dubai, on December 31, 2015. People were gathering to watch New Year's Eve celebrations when the hotel caught on fire, with the cause of the blaze still unknown according to the emirate's police chief. AFP PHOTO / KARIM SAHIB / AFP / KARIM SAHIB (Photo credit should read KARIM SAHIB/AFP/Getty Images)
A fire burns in the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. The blaze began Thursday night before Dubai's annual New Year's Eve fireworks show at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building which sits nearby. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
A fire burns in the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. The blaze began Thursday night before Dubai's annual New Year's Eve fireworks show at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building which sits nearby. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Smoke billows from the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. The blaze began Thursday night before Dubai's annual New Year's Eve fireworks show at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building which sits nearby. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
A fire burns on the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. The blaze began Thursday night before Dubai's annual New Year's Eve fireworks show at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building which sits nearby. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
Smoke billows from the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. The blaze began Thursday night before Dubai's annual New Year's Eve fireworks show at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building which sits nearby. (AP Photo/Jon Gambrell)
Firefighters spray water on a fire burning in the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday, Jan. 1, 2016. The blaze began Thursday night before Dubai's annual New Year's Eve fireworks show at the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building which sits nearby. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE
SHOW CAPTION +
HIDE CAPTION

The Dubai government's media office said the blaze was 90 percent under control. Police chief Major General Khamis Matar told Al Arabiya television: "All residents of the hotel were evacuated and there are 14 injured, with light injuries."

A medic on the scene who declined to be identified told Reuters: "There are more than 60 people injured with light injuries from smoke inhalation and from crowding while in the stairs evacuating the building."

One resident staying on the 15th floor of the tower, completed in 2008, told Britain's Sky News of "absolute pandemonium" as those inside realized the building was ablaze.

"The alarms went off when the building was already properly on fire," he said.

People Run to Safety to Escape Dubai Hotel Fire

FIREWORKS TO GO AHEAD

Major General Rashed al-Matrushi, general director of the Dubai Civil Defence, told the pan-Arab television channel Al Arabiya that the Burj Khalifa festivities would go ahead despite the fire, saying: "Of course, it will not affect the celebration."

A Reuters correspondent saw police evacuating a viewing area near the base of the Burj Khalifa, where tourists and Dubai residents were set to enjoy one of the world's largest pyrotechnic displays to usher in 2016.

The Dubai government's media office said the blaze had started on the 20th floor, on the outside of the 300-meter tower, and that internal fire-fighting systems were operating to try to prevent it getting inside the hotel. Four fire brigade teams were at the site.

Dubai is a trade, tourism and investment hub for the Gulf region, and is one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The 160-story Burj Khalifa tower opened in 2010 and stands almost 830 meters (2,722 feet) tall.

More from AOL.com:
Powerball jackpot up to $334 million for Saturday drawing
'Trespassing women' bar plaque at Missouri restaurant draws criticism
Ben Carson's campaign manager, communications director have resigned

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners