DUBAI: Two shops in the temple complex of Bur Dubai caught fire in the wee hours of Monday, leading to the area being closed to the public, Gulf News has learnt.
A family member of the owner of one of the shops, which sells novelty gift items, told Gulf News on Monday that the fire reportedly started in a shop on the opposite side but spread to this shop through a fibre glass roof.
“We received a call and rushed to the area by which time the shop was in flames and everything was destroyed,” she said.
The flames were later brought under control by Civil Defence officials and there were no casualties.
Vasu Shroff, Chairman of the Sindhi Gurudwara in the temple complex, said, “Six of our staff live in three rooms atop the first shop that caught fire around midnight. It later spread to the other shop. But thankfully, there were no casualties. Our staff have been temporarily shifted top Sindhi Bhavan.”
Gopal Kookani, manager of the temple which is housed on the first floor, said, ”The fire did not spread to the temple. All employees here are safe and sound.”
He said the gutted shops was located in the narrow lane leading up to the temple.
“The reason for the fire is not known. Police have closed the lanes and bylanes in the area for the safety of the public,” he said.
A comment from Civil Defence is awaited.
The temple complex, which dates back to the 1950s, is a major tourist attraction in Dubai. Located on the banks of the Dubai Creek, the Hindu temple, initially conceived as a prayer hall, was built on the first floor of a row of shops selling a variety of novelty items.
Nestled in the midst of the old alleys of the Textile Souk, the temple is visited by thousands of devotees and others alike for its old world charm. It has been built on land donated by the late Shaikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum.