Exploring the Potential of Urban Agriculture in Villas: A Study of Green Spaces and Gardening Practices in the UAE

Maha Alfzari, Shamsa Alshamsi, Mezna Alshemeili, Maitha Alameemi, Aishah Alkindi, Kheira Anissa Tabet Aoul

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Urban farming is becoming increasingly important globally, as 68% of the world's population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050. Urban farming offers several advantages, including access to fresh food, reduced transportation costs and emissions, job creation, economic opportunities, and can also foster social interaction and community engagement. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the government has recognized the importance of food security and launched initiatives to increase domestic food production. Hence, this study aims to identify the existence of green space in individual housing and users' practices, perceptions, and behaviors in the context of urban agriculture in villas in UAE, characterized by very large plots of lands. An online survey was conducted to ascertain the characteristics of green spaces, the type of plants, usage, and practices, as well as gardening practices and challenges faced by respondents. The findings revealed that a significant proportion of respondents (94%) resided in villas where green spaces were present in varying degrees, serving predominantly aesthetic (63%) and shading (64%) functions. Interestingly, only 32% of respondents engaged in fruit and vegetable production for personal use. The maintenance of green spaces was largely outsourced to hired gardeners, and daily irrigation was primarily carried out using a hose (65%). The upkeep cost of the garden was not known to most respondents (74%). These results provide important insights into the utilization and management of green spaces in residential settings. The low percentage of respondents engaging in urban agriculture indicates a need to better understand, promote and encourage such practices. This information can be used by different stakeholders to develop programs and initiatives that promote and support urban agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-113
Number of pages11
JournalZEMCH International Conference
Publication statusPublished - 2023
Event10th Zero Energy Mass Custom Home International Conference, ZEMCH 2023 - Arequipa, Peru
Duration: Aug 2 2023Aug 4 2023


  • Challenges
  • Food production
  • Garden
  • Greenery
  • Hot climate
  • Survey
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Urban farming
  • Urban resilience
  • Users' perception
  • Villas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Computer Science Applications


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