Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
Residents coming out with their belongings after police and Dubai Civil Defense gave them permission to go inside the Tamweel tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers which caught fire. Pawan Singh / The National
Residents coming out with their belongings after police and Dubai Civil Defense gave them permission to go inside the Tamweel tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers which caught fire.  Pawan Singh / The National

Dubai fire residents set to lose thousands on hotel costs

Residents affected by the fire might not be able to claim back tens of thousands paid out for hotel accommodation.

DUBAI // Tenants who have paid as much as Dh20,000 for hotel accommodation after losing their homes in the Tamweel Tower blaze have been told they might not be able to claim the money back.

The fire that gutted the 34-storey building in Jumeirah Lakes Towers on November 17 left 160 families homeless.

Residents were told to pay upfront for hotel apartments and were reportedly assured the money would be reimbursed after a successful insurance claim.

The prices ranged from about Dh9,000 for a studio to Dh20,000 for a three-bedroom at hotel apartments across the city.

But in an email today from the building’s owners’ association, tenants were told they might not be entitled to reimbursement.

“The temporary accommodation of 30 days as per the insurance policy is for owners staying in the apartment,” said the association.

“Tamweel is fighting on our behalf to include the tenants as well.”

Marwan Mayassi, a former resident in Tamweel Tower, said he was given assurances he would be able to claim the amount back.

“They told us that we would be able to claim the money back and said their earlier emails would be a guarantee,” Mr Mayassi said.

“They didn’t mention that it wouldn’t apply to tenants.”

Another resident, Tanvir, said the amount for temporary lodgings, coupled with the money he could lose from rent that has yet to be refunded, was a crippling blow.

“I have used up my credit card paying for this accommodation,” Tanvir said. “It was all under the assurances that they would reimburse us.”

But Surendra Nayar, the newly elected chairman of the owners’ association board, said that nothing had been decided.

“It might be something in the insurance policy but everything is up for negotiation,” Mr Nayar said.

“We haven’t even met the insurer directly.”

Although the cause has yet to be determined, the fire is believed to have started on or near the roof of the building in the early hours of the morning, before moving down most of the tower’s east side.

Hundreds of people were immediately evacuated as firefighters battled for hours to bring the blaze under control.

Videos of the fire showed the tower’s aluminium panels burning off and the debris falling to the ground, similar to what happened in fires at residential towers in Dubai’s Tecom area last month and in Sharjah in April.

As a result, stricter testing of cladding used in high-rise buildings was promised as part of a new-look Fire and Life Safety Code used by Civil Defence departments throughout the Emirates.

Nobody was hurt in the Tamweel fire and members of the JLT community were quick to rally around to offer donations of clothes and even rooms in their apartments to those left homeless.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Ali Benflis, opposition leader and main rival to Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika speaks to the press after casting his vote in the presidential elections at a polling station in Algiers on. Former prime minister Benflis ran against Bouteflika in 2004 but lost heavily, charging the vote was rigged 10 years ago and has said fraud will be his ‘main adversary’ during the election. Patrick Baz / AFP Photo

Best photography from around the world, April 17

The National View's photo editors pick the best images of the day from around the world.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

Video: Local reactions to a national fishing ban

A federal fishing ban has been imposed by the UAE federal government, but local authorities are taking diiferent approaches to implementing the ban. Two fishermen tell two very different sides of the story. Produced by Paul O'Driscoll

 Southampton owner Katharina Liebherr is pictured before the Premier League match between Southampton and Liverpool at St Mary's Stadium in Southampton, southern England, on March 1, 2014. Glyn Kirk / AFP

New Southampton owner leading club’s resurgence from the shadows

Katharina Liebherr keeping with family tradition and letting others dominate the spotlight

 The new Bentley GT Speed convertible on display at a press event of the New York International Auto Show. Jason Szenes / EPA

In pictures: Hot cars at New York International Auto Show

With more than 1 million visitors annually, the New York International Auto Show is one of the most important shows for the US car industry. Here are some of the vehicles to be shown in this year’s edition.

 The cast of Fast & Furious 7, including Michelle Rodriguez and Vin Diesel, centre, on set at Emirates Palace in Abu Dhabi. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National

Fast & Furious 7 filming in full swing at Emirates Palace

Filming for Fast & Furious 7 has started and we have the first photos of the cast and crew on set at Emirates Palace hotel this morning. Visitors staying at Emirates Palace say they have been kept away from certain areas in the grounds.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National