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A businessman says he had a 'lucky escape' from the fire which engulfed part of a luxury hotel in Dubai on New Year's Eve.
Richard Upshall had been sitting on a terrace with a friend at the Address Downtown Hotel when they noticed flames above them.
Yes, we were there, and we got out safely. Really slow response from hotel, police and everyone and no alarms at all!!! I hear all are safe
Mr Upshall told ITV Tyne Tees that the fire caught the hotel 'by surprise' and said guests organised themselves in order to escape.
Mr Upshall is based in the UAE but has five companies in Stockton. Among them, a talent management business which represents the Billingham singer Josh Daniel, who took part in this year's X Factor.
Mr Upshall went back to the scene of the fire today and posted the following tweets:
In a statement, the Dubai government said it responded 'rapidly' to the fire, coordinating efforts to 'instantly evacuate' hotel guests..
The Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National reported the chairman of Emaar Properties, which owns the hotel, as saying:
Our immediate priority was ensuring the safety of our guests and colleagues, and we evacuated all of them safely in record time in a most orderly fashion.
Video footage released by the Dubai government shows extensive damage to a high-rise luxury hotel after a fire.
No-one was seriously injured during the blaze at the 63-storey Address Downtown hotel which occurred on New Year's Eve.