The United Arab Emirates has published a new construction fire and safety code, including new tight regulations on flammability of building exterior claddings.
This follows a number of recent fires in skyscrapers in Dubai, including Tamweel Tower 2012, Address Downtown Hotel 2015 (16 injured), Torch Tower 2015, three residential blocks 2015 and Sulafa Tower 2016 – but came before the London Grenfell Tower fire in June 2017. The new code requires all new external cladding panels to have very low flammability and includes a timeline for maintenance of panels and for replacement of non fire-safe existing panels, detailed instruction for installation and fines for non conformity. Authorities indicate that over 2/3 of the country’s building fires start with electrical faults, but that fires also start from causes outside the building, which reinforces the need for fire resistance cladding.
“Dubai toughens fire rules after tower blazes”, Arab News, 22 January 2017 http://www.arabnews.com/node/1042606/middle-east