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Emirati on trial for NYE Dubai fire video stunt

Arabian Business staff writer, March 17th, 2016

An Emirati has appeared in court after being accused of sneaking into the Address Downtown Dubai hotel while it was on fire on New Year's Eve and making a video of himself.

The 34-year-old unamed defendant is charged with wearing an official uniform in public and with impersonating a public employee after dressing up as a firefighter for the stunt, sister publication Arabain Business reported. 

He is also charged over the video he made of himself walking inside the building, which prosecutors at Dubai Criminal Court said made a mockery of firefighters’ efforts to get the fire under control.

The defendant claimed to be an experienced firefighter based in Abu Dhabi who had volunteered to help put out the fire.

He said he was handed the uniform and a pair of shoes so he could help out but that the shoes were too big so he walked barefoot.

Another hearing is scheduled for March 27.

The hotel remains closed and an investigation revealed that the fire was caused by an electrical short circuit.