Evaluation of social and cultural sustainability in typical public house models in Al Ain, UAE

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16 Citations (Scopus)


The Sheikh Zayed Housing Program is the major public housing program in The United Arab Emirates. Through this program hundreds of single family houses for Emirati citizens are being developed every year. The current commitment of the UAE government towards adopting sustainability in the building sector including the housing one initiated a lot of initiatives addressing the issue including this research. The main concern of the research is to go beyond the environmental aspects of sustainability and to address the social and cultural considerations of it in the typical design models of the public houses adopted by The Sheikh Zayed Housing Program. As many public housing projects have been constructed in Al Ain, a city intensively occupied by Emirati citizens, and five housing models prevailed in the city were selected as the scope for this qualitative research with its multi-facets analytical tools including questionnaires and expert analysis of the architectural designs of these models. It has been found that only four out of the eight principles of socio-cultural sustainability in houses have been significantly achieved while other two principles have been found to be partially achieved, and the remaining two principles have been assessed as poorly achieved. Based on these findings, the research has proposed eight design guidelines which are envisaged to help realizing socio-cultural sustainability in the design of the public houses in Al Ain, and in UAE in general.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-80
Number of pages32
JournalInternational Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Al Ain
  • Cultural
  • House
  • Public
  • Social
  • Sustainability
  • UAE

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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