The company that supplied facade cladding to the Dubai hotel that went up in flames on New Year's Eve has halted the production of plastic-core panels, it has been reported.
Shazi Ul Mulk, owner of Alubond panels firm and chairman of parent company Mulk Holdings, told Gulf News his firm would end production of the controversial products after a series of tower fires in recent years.
This announcement came ahead of the release of a revised UAE Fire and Life Safety Code.
"this is a decision where we need to take the lead," Mulk said.
"Eventually the code will ban them [inferior panels] anyway. The delay of the code doesn't mean we need to wait."
Mulk said the export of inferior non-fire related panels to 24 countries will be halted.
Alubond, who command up to 50% of the cladding market in the country, will now concentrate on producing fire-resistant A2 aluminium panels that can withstand temperatures of 332C.
The new panels inhibit the spread of flames across finished exteriors of high-rises where upper extremes are unreachable by firefighters and equipment.
Major General Rashid Al Matroushi, director, Dubai Civil Defence, told the Fire Safety Technology Forum in April that the code revisions were in late April but delayed pending final changes to the document.
“We are in the final cooking stages,” he said, noting the revised code would be released imminently.