WATCH: High-rise tower catches fire in UAE's Sharjah city
The sides of the 48-floor Abbco Tower in Sharjah city saw flames shoot up them.
Firefighters and police surrounded the tower, as did curious onlookers.
Authorities offered no immediate cause for the blaze.
The UAE, including skyscraper-studded Dubai, has suffered a spate of fires in its high-rises in recent years.
The reason for the blazes, building and safety experts say, is the material used for the buildings' sidings, called aluminum composite panel cladding.
While some types of cladding can be made with fire-resistant material, experts say those that have caught fire in the UAE and elsewhere were not designed to meet stricter safety standards and often were put onto buildings without any breaks to slow or halt a possible blaze.
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