DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — An insurer was ordered to pay more than AED1 billion in damages over a fire in Dubai on New Year’s Eve 2015, but it is filing a civil lawsuit to try to recover the money. lose the case.
Two years after the fire shook the Address Downtown hotel, Orient Insurance was ordered to pay Dubai government-backed developer Emaar a dirham 1.25 billion (over $340 million) settlement. Emaar supports projects such as the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world.
Orient then filed a civil lawsuit in 2018 against contractors who worked on the design, construction and maintenance of the hotel. It said they failed to enforce fire safety requirements, contributing to the fire’s spread.
Orient Insurance requires the contractor to reimburse the insurance claims it paid to Emaar. The case involved main contractors including Belhasa JV, Arabtec, Mirage and ALEC Engineering and Construction.
A seven-member expert committee concluded that the fire was caused by an electrical short in the spotlight, court documents show. It also said there was no conclusive evidence that the defendants had technical errors or irregularities, and that the building’s cladding may have contributed to the spread of the fire, but not caused it.
“The report confirms our client’s position that it correctly constructed the works it was authorised to construct,” said Mohamed ElGhatit, a lawyer representing government-owned ALEC Engineering and Construction.
Fires have hit skyscrapers in Dubai and other cities in the United Arab Emirates in recent years. Construction and safety experts cite a popular type of cladding covering highly flammable buildings. Authorities say they have changed the emirate’s fire safety rules to deal with the danger.
Last week, the court ruled against East.