BY Arfa Shahid
DUBAI – Jan. 1 – Following a massive fire that engulfed a luxury hotel in Dubai’s downtown area, support poured in from different parts of the emirate on social media. Within two hours of the incident, social media users got the hashtag #NeedAnAddress trending on Twitter, offering shelter as well as words of encouragement to all those stranded in downtown Dubai.
“Two sofas and a camp bed available to anyone in Dubai
#NeedAnAddress – we are here for you,” tweeted @MaxofArabia.
Huge flames engulfed parts of The Address Hotel, which stands at a short distance from the Burj Khalifa – the world’s tallest building – causing a stampede shortly before a fireworks display was set to go off at midnight.
Dubai Media Office stated on their official Twitter page that alternative accommodation spaces will be provided for guests who had been forced to evacuate The Address Hotel due to the fire.
“Dubai Department of Tourism&Commerce Marketing to provide guests evacuated from Downtown Address hotel with alternative hotel accommodation – @DxbMediaOffice
In fact, several hotels joined the conversation and offered rooms free of charge to those in need.
“We’ve got some space in an apartment about 800m away from the address + lots of pizza – Msg us if anyone needs help
#NeedAnAddress” – @ArabianKnights
Many people tweeted expressing how moved they were by the gesture.
“So heartening to see people open up their home for strangers.
#NeedAnAddress is a reflection of Dubai’s unity.” wrote @silentmedia.
Others said this hashtag was reflective of Dubai’s communal spirit.
“Founders” of the #NeedAnAddress hashtag @DanielMarcEvans and @Shelo9 expressed how overwhelmed they were with the traction that the topic gained in such a short period of time.
No casualties have been reported so far, Dubai Police Chief General Khamis AlMuzainah told Newsweek Middle East in a phone call, however there have been 14 light injuries resulting mainly from the stampede.