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Smoke rises from the scene of the UPS plane crash in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Friday. ((Mosab Omar/Reuters))

A UPS cargo plane with two crew members on board crashed Friday outside Dubai, officials said, and there was no immediate word on casualties.

The Boeing 747-400 went down near a busy highway intersection about 16 kilometres southeast of Dubai's international airport at about 8 p.m. local time, UPS spokeswoman Kristen Petrella said.

Petrella confirmed the plane had two crew members but did not say whether there were any casualties.

"This incident is very unfortunate and we will do everything we can to find the cause," UPS airline and international operations manager Bob Lekites said in a statement. "Our thoughts go out to the crew members involved in the incident and their families."

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The UPS plane that crashed was a Boeing 747-400, shown in a photo from the Boeing corporate website. ((Boeing))

Smoke rose from the crash site, which was shielded from the highway by walls. Migrant labourers from a nearby camp gathered along the roadside to watch.

Earlier, the state news agency WAM reported the crash occurred in an unpopulated desert area, suggesting there may not have been casualties on the ground.

UPS is a global package delivery company and freight service based in Atlanta.

In October, a Sudanese Boeing 707 cargo plane crashed in the desert outside Dubai, killing six crew members.

Emirati regulators have banned that plane's Sudanese owner, Azza Transport, from operating in the country.