WIT Press

Achieving Socio-cultural Sustainability In The Design Of The Government-sponsored Single Family Houses In The UAE: The Case Of Al Ain


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

139 - 151




884 kb


K. Galal-Ahmed


Many government-sponsored single family houses have been built in the UAE during the last few years. Given the importance of achieving sustainability in the housing sector, the question which poses itself is: are these houses socioculturally sustainable? Al Ain city has been selected for undertaking some relevant case studies of this type of housing. After building a conceptual framework for the qualitative analysis, some research tools were applied including semi-structured interviews with residents, design analysis and Space Syntax analysis. Through these multi phases analyses a clearer understanding of the social and cultural suitability of the design of the government-sponsored single family houses in Al Ain, has been realized fulfilling the first objective of the research. Consequently, relevant design guidelines that help in achieving social and cultural sustainability of this type of housing have been reached fulfilling the second objective of the research. Keywords: social, cultural, sustainability, housing, UAE, Al Ain. 1 Introduction Of the three pillars of sustainable development, social sustainability is perhaps the least explored within the mainstream development literature. Initially, the intellectual debate on sustainability was confined to two of its basic dimensions: economic sustainability and environmental sustainability. As a result, sociocultural sustainability has been the aspect of development that tends to be neglected in public policy initiatives [1]. The focus of this research is very much on the dynamics within the social and cultural spheres of sustainability. The


social, cultural, sustainability, housing, UAE, Al Ain