Two men who took selfie near Dubai fire released

Two men who took selfie near Dubai fire released
2 min read
09 January, 2016
UAE police has released two young men who were detained last week after posting a 'selfie' outside Dubai's The Address hotel as it blazed on New Year's Eve.
The 63-storey hotel burned through the fireworks display and into the new year [Getty]

Two men detained for taking "selfies" outside a Dubai hotel while it was on fire have been released from jail in the UAE. 

Dubai Attorney General Essam al-Humaidan said that the city's public prosecution had decided to release the two young men after a thorough investigation into the photo posted on social media, the Emirates' state news agency  reported on Friday.

Public prosecutors said they have closed the case since no evidence of criminal intent has been established.

If convicted, the young men would have faced three years in jail and a fine of no less than 30,000 Dirhams ($8,000).

Humaidan called on individuals to exercise caution and discretion when posting on social media and refrain from spreading rumours, defaming others or violating other people's freedom to avoid any laws.

Emirati commentator Sultan al-Qassemi posted a tweet describing the arrest and release of the two young men as "unnecessary".

"Bad PR to say the least," he continued.

The Address Downtown luxury hotel caught fire just before a New Year's Eve fireworks display at the nearby Burj Khalifa, the world's tallest building.
     
      The two men were released after seven
days in police custody [Twitter]


The 63-storey hotel blased throughout Dubai's New Year's fireworks display - which took place just metres away from The Address - and continued to burn on 1 January.

At least 14 people were slightly injured, one was moderately injured, and another suffered a heart attack during the evacuation, the government said at the time.

Huge crowds of Dubai residents waited outside the hotel while firefighters attempted to put out the blaze. Many took pictures from the vehicles, slowing traffic.

The UAE has a cybercrime law under which people can be arrested, imprisoned and expatriates deported for taking photographs without consent.