Dubai Residents Offer Shelter to Guests Stranded by Hotel Fire

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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 – we are here for you,” tweeted @MaxofArabia.

“We have sofas, sleeping bags and an endless supply of love. Plus Nutella. You’re not alone. You’re home.” wrote @FizzyJam.

“Extra bedspace at marina. (my home) If you tonight feel free to reach out and also do retweet.” posted @AnjaanRJ

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.

“30 rooms available at Auris Inn Al Muhanna TECOM if required to host guests free of charge ” – @AurisHotels

“We’ve got some space in an apartment about 800m away from the address + lots of pizza – Msg us if anyone needs help ” – @ArabianKnights

Many people tweeted expressing how moved they were by the gesture.

“So heartening to see people open up their home for strangers. is a reflection of Dubai’s unity.” wrote @silentmedia.

Others said this hashtag was reflective of Dubai’s communal spirit.

“Every nationality, every culture, every race and religion used to help tonight. THIS is what is” @AnthonyPermal tweeted.

“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.

“To those who are spreading thank you SO MUCH from me and you all are AMAZING” @DanielMarcEvans wrote on his Twitter page.

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.



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