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Fire engulfed a 63-storey skyscraper in downtown Dubai on Thursday night, but there appeared to be no injuries, a civil defense official said.
Large tongues of flame shooting skywards enveloped the luxury hotel and residential block, which lies across a plaza from the world's tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, where people were gathering for a spectacular fireworks display due to mark the start of the New Year.
"There are no injuries, thank God," Major General Rashed al-Matrushi, general director of the Dubai Civil Defence, told the pan-Arab television channel Al Arabiya.
He said the festivities would go ahead despite the fire, saying: "Of course, it will not affect the celebration."
The Dubai government's media office tweeted that civil defense teams were working to evacuate the 300-metre hotel and tackle the fire.
Blaze hits Dubai skyscraper, New Year's fireworks proceed nearby
Fire engulfed a 63-storey skyscraper in Dubai on Thursday night, but with the block evacuated and only minor injuries reported authorities went ahead with a New Year's fireworks display at the world's tallest building a few hundred meters away.
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