x Abu Dhabi, UAE Thursday 20 July 2017

Hundreds gather outside Dubai fire tower hoping to retrieve belongings

Take our poll: Residents of the fire-damaged Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers are waiting to get back to their apartments to assess the damage and collect their belongings.

Jim Bishop and Jane Bishop come out with their belongings from Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers.
Jim Bishop and Jane Bishop come out with their belongings from Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers.

DUBAI // Hundreds of residents gathered outside the gutted Tamweel Tower in Jumeirah Lakes Towers today in the hope of being allowed into their apartments to collect their belongings.

Tenants were granted access into the fire damaged building one floor at a time from around 1pm. Civil Defence gave them each about 10 minutes to collect their valuables and inspect the condition of their apartments.

Crowds formed from 8am and some residents even set up a stall to serve tea and biscuits to those who had been displaced.

"They keep telling us it will be one or two hours but we have been waiting for so long and still haven't been let in," said Jim Bishop, from the UK, who lived on the 15th floor.

Other residents were still dressed in the pajamas they were in when they escaped from the blazing building at 2am yesterday.

"I need to get my purse, my passport and more clothes," said Diane Saroukhan, who lived on the 25th floor.

Most of the tenants have been told they can stay for an extra night in the hotel apartments arranged for them by the developer, Tamweel. However, there is confusion over whether the arrangement would last for a month or if they would be evicted from tomorrow.

Tamweel was not immediately available for comment.

newsdesk@thenational.ae