Middle East

UAE considers new fire safety laws after skyscraper blazes

  • FILE- In this Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 file photo, smoke and flames pouring from the Address Downtown Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Officials in the United Arab Emirates are pondering how to change the country's fire safety laws after a series of skyscraper fires, including a dramatic New Year's Eve blaze seen around the world. (Sina Bahrami/@dearsina via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT

    FILE- In this Thursday, Dec. 31, 2015 file photo, smoke and flames pouring from the Address Downtown Hotel in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Officials in the United Arab Emirates are pondering how to change the country's fire safety laws after a series of skyscraper fires, including a dramatic New Year's Eve blaze seen around the world. (Sina Bahrami/@dearsina via AP, File) MANDATORY CREDIT  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE- In this Friday, Jan. 1, 2016 file photo, a fire burns on the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Officials in the United Arab Emirates are pondering how to change the country's fire safety laws after a series of skyscraper fires, including a dramatic New Year's Eve blaze seen around the world. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)

    FILE- In this Friday, Jan. 1, 2016 file photo, a fire burns on the Address Downtown skyscraper in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Officials in the United Arab Emirates are pondering how to change the country's fire safety laws after a series of skyscraper fires, including a dramatic New Year's Eve blaze seen around the world. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba, File)  (The Associated Press)

Officials in the United Arab Emirates say they are looking into ways to improve the country's fire safety laws after a series of skyscraper fires, including a dramatic New Year's Eve blaze that was broadcast around the world.

Speaking to The Associated Press on Wednesday, the director-general of Dubai Civil Defense said authorities want to supervise more strictly what types of cladding are used on the city's high-rises.

Maj. Gen. Rashid Thani al-Matrooshi also said: "We want to make sure all the material used is authorized and follows the fire-rating standard."

The Dec. 31 blaze at the 63-story The Address Downtown Dubai near the Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building, highlighted the fire risk. The blazes, building and safety experts say, are often fueled by cladding on the buildings.