DUBAI A fire engulfed The Address Hotel in downtown Dubai in the United Arab Emirates hours before a large New Year fireworks display was set to start nearby from the Burj Khalifa tower, the world's largest building, witnesses said.
Witnesses said large tongues of flames shooting skywards enveloped the luxury hotel, which lies across a plaza from the Burj Khalifa, where hundreds of people were gathering to view a spectacular fireworks display due to start shortly to mark the New Year.
The Dubai government's media office said on its Twitter feed that civil defence teams were working to evacuate the hotel and tackle the fire.
Dubai is one of seven emirates that make up the United Arab Emirates (UAE), a Gulf Arab trade and investment hub.
(Reporting by Dubai bureau, Writing by Noah Browning, Editing by William Maclean and Ralph Boulton)
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