Building owners are being urged to replace potentially flammable cladding.

After a spate of skyscraper blazes, the Dubai government has launched a project to improve fire safety in high-rise buildings.

The government’s Real Estate Regulatory Agency (RERA) says it has started the process of replacing non-fire-resistant building facades across Dubai.

The move follows a string of highly publicised in the emirate, including two fires in two years at Dubai Marina’s 86-storey Torch Tower.

As Gulf Business reports, the UAE revised its building safety code in 2013 to ensure all new buildings over 15 metres tall have fire-resistant cladding.

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However, the new rules did not apply to buildings erected before then, so many skyscrapers still have cladding that does not meet the requirements.

RERA said it was now “strongly encouraging all owners to replace non-fire-resistant building facades in collaboration with the city’s real estate developers”.

It added that it has already implemented these measures with a number of companies, including Dubai Properties Group, which is behind Executive Towers, Vision Tower, and Bay Square in the Business Bay area.

Mohammed Khalifa bin Hammad, senior director of RERA, said the project had been launched to ensure the safety of residents and save lives, while also preserving Dubai’s reputation as a leading destination for business, investment, travel and accommodation.

Last month, Dubai Police revealed the likely cause of the Torch Tower fire was a burning cigarette butt, thrown from an upper floor. The rapid spread of the fire was linked to the building’s cladding.

To find out more about your rights as a tenant after a residential fire, click here.

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