Below is a time lapse video of the Address Hotel fire in Dubai on New Years Eve.
Note the falling debris that may have started secondary fires in the neighborhood.
The root cause of the fire has not been published but the fire was focused on the aluminum panels on the facade of the building. The panels are a lightweight composite of polyurethane with aluminium cladding. They are NOT fire rated! In fact, Dubai did not start requiring fire rated panels until 2012. They were manufactured in a neighboring emirate and some 250 buildings are thought to have non-fire rated panels.
The architect for the building is large international firm. It is astounding to me that they allowed non fire rated panel in their design. I suspect they were approved without the firms knowledge.
This news is just starting to leak out but restrictions on UAE journalists make publicizing this information a career limiting action.