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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 19 June 2018

Family finally moves into Tamweel Tower flat they bought a month before it went up in flames

The soot-covered apartment is being turned into a home

Meena Jain and her son Tanish move into their flat in Tamweel Tower. Christopher Pike / The National
Meena Jain and her son Tanish move into their flat in Tamweel Tower. Christopher Pike / The National

Only a month after banker Anil Jain bought a flat in Tamweel Tower, the building was engulfed in flames.

Once covered in soot, the burnt apartment is being transformed back into a home - five years later.

Crockery, tea lights and travel mementos were removed from bubble wrap in cartons and placed in brand new glass and wooden cabinets in their Tamweel apartment by his teenage sons Tanish and Divyansh and wife Meena on Thursday.

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“It was fully burnt, there was only black ash here. The major damage was to this side of the building. But because we didn’t stay here then, we don’t feel any of the trauma associated with the fire that others may feel,” said Tanish, an electrical engineering student from the University of California, San Diego, who is home for summer holidays.

“We’re just happy to be moving in.”

Even the absence of television and internet connectivity - as cabling is still being readied for the entire building – could not dampen the family’s spirits.

“It hasn’t really made a difference to us, we anyway get the connection on our phones. Also we don’t really care because we are so busy getting the house ready,” Tanish said.

Plants have already been unpacked and set aside as Meena Jain instructs her sons to carefully place glasses and plates in cupboards.

“I did feel sad at that time but we have got a completely new house. It is exactly like we saw it before the fire,” she said.

The family had been in Dubai for about seven months and were living in a rented apartment in Bur Dubai when they chose to buy a flat in the Jumeirah Lake Towers apartment.

They have lived in Muscat, Doha and Bahrain but the UAE is where they chose to put down roots.

“The city of Dubai is a place you can spend time in and we were keen on having our own place. We had seen many houses but this one we found was distinctly the best. We just got really unlucky with the fire. It was very difficult to even walk in the apartment, it was completely charred," Mr Jain said.

"But in hindsight there are no regrets. Our apartment was one of the most damaged but the upside of that was that the insurance company had to do a complete makeover. Now it’s all new and shining. It’s definitely better to stay in our own place than in a rented apartment.”