(Dubai) A fire in a residential building in Dubai killed 16 people and injured nine in a popular area of ​​this wealthy Gulf emirate on Saturday, authorities said.

The fire broke out at midday on the fourth floor of a building in Al-Ras, an old district of the city, where many foreign workers live.

The firefighters arrived on the scene “six minutes after being alerted”, said the Civil Defense in a press release sent to AFP on Sunday.

“Preliminary investigations show that a lack of compliance with building safety and security requirements” was the cause of the fire, she added.

The nationality of the victims has not been revealed.

Dubai, one of the seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates, has a population of around 3.3 million, of which almost 90% are foreigners.

“The competent authorities are carrying out a thorough investigation in order to provide a detailed report on the causes of the accident,” the statement said.

The city has experienced spectacular fires in the past, causing extensive damage but few casualties.

In 2017, the authorities announced the adoption of stricter building regulations to minimize the risk of fire, attributed mainly to easily flammable materials used for the exterior cladding of buildings.