Bodies of men killed in Abu Dhabi tower blaze to be flown home



DUBAI // The bodies of the three Pakistani men killed in Tuesday's fire at an Abu Dhabi tower block are to be sent home for burial, Pakistan's ambassador said yesterday.

The three friends died as they slept in their shared flat on the third floor of the building near the corner of Airport Road and Delma Street.

Wali Marjan, Mubarik Ali Khan and Shanar Gul were all workers' bus drivers.

The ambassador, Jamil Ahmed Khan, expressed his sadness at the deaths and ordered embassy staff to contact the victims' families and make arrangements for the bodies to be sent home.

"The embassy is also in contact with the concerned local authorities to ascertain the cause of fire and is completing necessary documentation for compensation to the victims' families," said Mr Khan. "The embassy is making all-out efforts to transport the bodies to Pakistan by first available Pakistan International Airlines' flight."

Eight other people were injured in the fire, which is believed to have been caused by an electrical fault in one of the third-floor flats.

Many living in the upper floors were forced on to the roof to escape the flames and smoke that blocked their access to the ground level.

Residents said the fire started just after 4pm, with emergency services arriving about 20 minutes later.

It took firefighters two hours to control the blaze, by which time the third floor had been badly damaged. Civil Defence is continuing its investigations.

Dozens of people have been left homeless after power was cut to the building.

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Company name: Namara
Started: June 2022
Founder: Mohammed Alnamara
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Director: Michael Sarnoski

Rating: 4/5

Our legal advisor

Ahmad El Sayed is Senior Associate at Charles Russell Speechlys, a law firm headquartered in London with offices in the UK, Europe, the Middle East and Hong Kong.

Experience: Commercial litigator who has assisted clients with overseas judgments before UAE courts. His specialties are cases related to banking, real estate, shareholder disputes, company liquidations and criminal matters as well as employment related litigation. 

Education: Sagesse University, Beirut, Lebanon, in 2005.

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The major Hashd factions linked to Iran:

Badr Organisation: Seen as the most militarily capable faction in the Hashd. Iraqi Shiite exiles opposed to Saddam Hussein set up the group in Tehran in the early 1980s as the Badr Corps under the supervision of the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC). The militia exalts Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei but intermittently cooperated with the US military.

Saraya Al Salam (Peace Brigade): Comprised of former members of the officially defunct Mahdi Army, a militia that was commanded by Iraqi cleric Moqtada Al Sadr and fought US and Iraqi government and other forces between 2004 and 2008. As part of a political overhaul aimed as casting Mr Al Sadr as a more nationalist and less sectarian figure, the cleric formed Saraya Al Salam in 2014. The group’s relations with Iran has been volatile.

Kataeb Hezbollah: The group, which is fighting on behalf of the Bashar Al Assad government in Syria, traces its origins to attacks on US forces in Iraq in 2004 and adopts a tough stance against Washington, calling the United States “the enemy of humanity”.

Asaeb Ahl Al Haq: An offshoot of the Mahdi Army active in Syria. Asaeb Ahl Al Haq’s leader Qais al Khazali was a student of Mr Al Moqtada’s late father Mohammed Sadeq Al Sadr, a prominent Shiite cleric who was killed during Saddam Hussein’s rule.

Harakat Hezbollah Al Nujaba: Formed in 2013 to fight alongside Mr Al Assad’s loyalists in Syria before joining the Hashd. The group is seen as among the most ideological and sectarian-driven Hashd militias in Syria and is the major recruiter of foreign fighters to Syria.

Saraya Al Khorasani:  The ICRG formed Saraya Al Khorasani in the mid-1990s and the group is seen as the most ideologically attached to Iran among Tehran’s satellites in Iraq.

(Source: The Wilson Centre, the International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation)

COMPANY PROFILE

Company name: Switch Foods
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Founder: Edward Hamod
Based: Abu Dhabi, UAE
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Funding: $6.5 million
Funding round: Seed
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The specs: Rolls-Royce Cullinan

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Know before you go
  • Jebel Akhdar is a two-hour drive from Muscat airport or a six-hour drive from Dubai. It’s impossible to visit by car unless you have a 4x4. Phone ahead to the hotel to arrange a transfer.
  • If you’re driving, make sure your insurance covers Oman.
  • By air: Budget airlines Air Arabia, Flydubai and SalamAir offer direct routes to Muscat from the UAE.
  • Tourists from the Emirates (UAE nationals not included) must apply for an Omani visa online before arrival at evisa.rop.gov.om. The process typically takes several days.
  • Flash floods are probable due to the terrain and a lack of drainage. Always check the weather before venturing into any canyons or other remote areas and identify a plan of escape that includes high ground, shelter and parking where your car won’t be overtaken by sudden downpours.

 

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Company name: Revibe
Started: 2022
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Based: UAE
Industry: Refurbished electronics
Funds raised so far: $10m
Investors: Flat6Labs, Resonance and various others

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Name: HyveGeo
Started: 2023
Founders: Abdulaziz bin Redha, Dr Samsurin Welch, Eva Morales and Dr Harjit Singh
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Number of employees: 8
Industry: Sustainability & Environment
Funding: $200,000 plus undisclosed grant
Investors: Venture capital and government

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Company name: Hoopla
Date started: March 2023
Founder: Jacqueline Perrottet
Based: Dubai
Number of staff: 10
Investment stage: Pre-seed
Investment required: $500,000

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Rating: 2.5/5

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Name: SmartCrowd
Started: 2018
Founder: Siddiq Farid and Musfique Ahmed
Based: Dubai
Sector: FinTech / PropTech
Initial investment: $650,000
Current number of staff: 35
Investment stage: Series A
Investors: Various institutional investors and notable angel investors (500 MENA, Shurooq, Mada, Seedstar, Tricap)

The Specs

Engine: 1.6-litre 4-cylinder petrol
Power: 118hp
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Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Price: From Dh61,500
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