x Abu Dhabi, UAE Friday 21 July 2017

Restaurant fire started deliberately

Authorities suspect that a fire in a restaurant three days before its scheduled opening was deliberately lit.

UMM AL QAIWAIN // Authorities suspect that a fire in a restaurant three days before its scheduled opening was deliberately lit. No one was hurt in the fire that started at about 10pm on Wednesday, said Col Hassan Ali Mohammed, the head of Umm al Qaiwain Civil Defence. It took firemen almost two hours to put it out. Samir Elias, the owner of the restaurant, said it was due to open on Saturday. "I have invested up to Dh800,000 (US$218,000) in this restaurant. It was a bank loan," Mr Elias said. "I can't believe all has gone up in flames before even opening. I can't imagine I had enemies to do this to me."

Col Mohammed said firemen found the back door of the restaurant had been broken and oil spilt on the floor. He said arson was suspected but he would await results from the forensic laboratory and a police investigation. Sultan al Shuwaykh, the director general of Umm al Qaiwain Police, would not say if arrests had been made in the case. ykakande@thenational.ae