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Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 21 June 2018

Residents of Dubai tower left homeless by fire offered extended free accommodation

Some residents hope they will be allowed back into the fire-ravaged building before the end of May 

The damage caused by a fire at Zen Tower in Dubai. The blaze forced more than 100 residents to flee their apartments. Reem Mohammed / The National
The damage caused by a fire at Zen Tower in Dubai. The blaze forced more than 100 residents to flee their apartments. Reem Mohammed / The National

Free accommodation is being offered to residents left homeless by the Zen Tower fire at the Lapita Hotel at Dubai Parks and Resorts until June 30.

Despite the offer of a seven-night stay, some are saying it is too far outside Dubai to travel, and not practical when many are working or studying in the city and are without their own transport.

The accommodation includes rooms for up to two adults or two adults and two children per room, with double and twin options available.

“We are incredibly thankful that the residents in Zen Tower in Dubai Marina were safely evacuated from the recent tragic fire” said general manager Sanne Emborg.

“We would like to invite anyone in need to stay with us while they rebuild their homes and encourage anyone that knows of an affected resident to get in touch.”

Residents' belongings are strewn outside the Zen Tower after a fire gutted the building in May. Reem Mohammed / The National
Residents' belongings are strewn outside the Zen Tower after a fire gutted the building in May. Reem Mohammed / The National

Lapita hotel is located 20 minutes from Zen Tower on the E11 highway towards Abu Dhabi.

The Ghaya Grand Hotel in Sports City was the first hotel to offer temporary accommodation to residents, with buses arriving to shuttle them within two hours of the start of the fire.

About 130 people have been staying at either the Ghaya Grand Hotel in Sports City, or at the Dubai Marina Wyndham hotel.

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Read more:

Dubai Zen Tower blaze: Cause of fire revealed

UAE insurers experience surge in home contents applications

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Investigators have said the fire began when an unspecified flammable substance caught alight in a ground floor kitchen and quickly spread to the rest of Zen Tower.

Student Nas lived on the seventh floor with her sister, and like many of her neighbours had since been living at the Ghaya Grand Hotel.

That offer came to an end on May 20 and has since moved to a hotel in Deira.

“I was in the flat on the 19th and the police told us the building would be closed for 10 days so we are hoping we will be allowed back in this week,” she said.

Investigators said the fire began when an unspecified flammable substance caught alight in a ground floor kitchen. Reem Mohammed / The National
Investigators said the fire began when an unspecified flammable substance caught alight in a ground floor kitchen. Reem Mohammed / The National

“The reception was badly damaged, with glass everywhere. The Ghaya Grand Hotel could not do any more for us, so I’ve been paying for another hotel since then.

“I study in JLT so Lapita is a long way to go to for me.

"Everything was fine in my apartment so I’m hoping I can move in. I was lucky as one of my neighbours lost everything.

“I’ve spoken to my landlord, but he has no idea what we have to do now.

"I think I will have to move out once I’ve finished my studies and find somewhere else to live.”

For anyone still in need of assistance, the resort’s accommodation can be booked by calling 04 810 9111 or emailing yana.bukina@autographhotels.com.