Atlantis fire damage could top US $30mn

The Atlantis resort on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah that caught fire last week could suffer damages from around US $14 million (AED50 million) to more than $30 million, Construction Week has learned.

The dome roof of the lobby area of the Atlantis Hotel on Palm Jumeirah was destroyed by a fire just weeks before its opening.
The dome roof of the lobby area of the Atlantis Hotel on Palm Jumeirah was destroyed by a fire just weeks before its opening.

The Atlantis resort on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah that caught fire last week could suffer damages from around US $14 million (AED50 million) to more than $30 million, Construction Week has learned.

It is believed that the fire broke out when sparks from ongoing welding work within the lobby area spread to wooden boxes and other inflammable materials stored nearby.

"Insurance claims could range anywhere from $14 million for fit-out damage and other damage to the exteriors, to more than $30 million if the structure and surrounding areas have been damaged as well," said an insurance expert who wished to remain unnamed.

"So far we think the fire started due to welding work that was going on in the area but investigations are still going on so nothing can be confirmed just yet."

The Atlantis is insured by a consortium of insurance companies, which is still to release the cause of the fire.

According to a project manager working on the hotel, the entire fibreglass roof of the lobby melted and one side of the hotel suffered smoke damage.

"There could well be a lot of smoke damage to other areas including the fit-outs inside the lobby and the bridge suite. Whether there is any structural damage is yet to be seen," he said.

But another source said the damage would only extend to exterior works.

There is speculation whether the hotel resort will meet its scheduled opening date.

An Atlantis spokesperson said: "There was limited damage to the external roof and lobby dome as a result of a contained fire at Atlantis, Palm Jumeirah. The site was fully evacuated of all staff and no one was injured. All safety and fire systems operated in accordance with standard operating procedures and emergency services worked quickly to extinguish the fire. Atlantis will open on time on September 24."

The fire comes just weeks before the planned lavish opening of the hotel that has been built by 72-year-old South African property tycoon Sol Kerzner.
The project had been finished and fitted-out ahead of schedule.

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