Chris O'Donnell talks about Atlantis fire

With less than a month to go before the opening of the Atlantis Hotel on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah, Nakheel CEO Chris O'Donnell received a rather rude awakening when fire struck the lobby of the building at 7am on September 2nd.

With less than a month to go before the opening of the Atlantis Hotel on Dubai's Palm Jumeirah, Nakheel CEO Chris O'Donnell received a rather rude awakening when fire struck the lobby of the building at 7am on September 2nd.

Construction Week caught up with Nakheel's boss for the story.

"Usually, I go to sleep with my phone off, but that night, I'd left it switched on for another reason. I was in bed when it rang at 7am, and someone said, "Atlantis is on fire!"

"I didn't say much, but according to my daughter, I put the phone down and ran to the window. I pulled back the curtains, and these huge plumes of smoke were rising from Atlantis.

"I called the emergency services, and we had two fire engines on site within the first few minutes, which I thought was excellent."

O'Donnell added that damage to the hotel had been minimal, with the dome shaped exterior of the lobby taking the brunt of the fire.

Asked if the hotel would still be opening on September 24th as planned, O'Donnell said, "Oh yes. Definitely."

Reports have cited workers carrying out welding activities or a possible electrical fault as the likely cause.

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