Involving Young Emirati Women in the Pre-Occupancy Evaluation of “Modern” Housing Designs: Simple Versus Advanced Participatory Tools

Khaled Galal Ahmed, Menatullah Mostafa Omar, Mona Megahed, Shaikha Abdulla Alazeezi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


The recent shift from the traditional design of citizens’ housing in the United Arab Emirates, with its generous habitable spaces, to a more compact “modern” design has been experienced in the federal housing program in the country. Despite taking the social needs into considerations, the modern designs of this housing category have been professionally developed without genuine residents’ participation especially the young Emirati women (between 18 and 24 years old) who are considered the backbone of the new Emirati families benefiting from this housing program. The research poses this question: How can young Emirati women effectively participate in the pre-occupancy evaluation of the design of the “modern” housing models? To answer this question, the comparative potentials and constraints of utilizing both the simple versus the advanced Virtual Reality (VR) design participatory tools were investigated on a design of a selected model house. Both tools have shown the same trend for the overall satisfaction/dissatisfaction of the house architectural style, the suitability of the functional areas, the spatial organization, and the sizes and numbers of windows as a source for daylighting. Still, the use of the VR has elaborated the respondents’ perceptions and hence changed some responses form satisfaction to dissatisfaction or neutral. Some technical difficulties associated with utilizing the VR tool render it a non-inclusive participatory technique. Finally, it seems that an ideal pre-occupancy evaluation tool for involving young Emirati women in their housing design is through exploiting a hybrid participatory technique combining both simple and advanced VR tools. This could accurately facilitate the pre-occupancy evaluation process while helping save some cost and time.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSAGE Open
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


  • UAE
  • housing
  • pre-occupancy evaluation
  • virtual reality
  • women empowerment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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