Strategies for retrofitting an existing building to meet the new fire code in Dubai

Amna Shibeika, Asalah Elnaffar, Batoul Hittini, Hind Ahmed, Fatima Saeed

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Sustainable development is important for the UAE (United Arab Emirates), not just because of global trends and pressures, but also because of the fast-growing construction and real estate industry in the UAE. However, issues such as fire have become a real danger to UAE’s high-rise buildings stock. Hence, the release of improved fire code in UAE in 2017. Relevant case studies have shown that besides specific design and construction issues, most often, the reason behind fires is the building’s façade, where aluminum panels with thermoplastic insulation are used causing the gap between the external wall and the aluminum cladding to induce a chimney effect, allowing smoke and heat to rise when there is a fire, and leading to fire spreading ten times faster. The aim of this research is to develop a method to retrofit existing buildings to meet the requirements of the updated fire code released by Dubai Civil Defense in 2017, which is implemented only for new buildings. This aim is achieved through the study of an existing high-rise mixed-use building in the emirate of Ajman in the UAE and proposing three strategies for its retrofit. The application of these strategies is considered. Finally, conclusion is provided along with the next steps for this research.

Original languageEnglish
JournalProceedings of the Annual International Conference on Architecture and Civil Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event6th Annual International Conference on Architecture and Civil Engineering, ACE 2018 - Singapore , Singapore
Duration: May 14 2018May 15 2018


  • -fire
  • Performance
  • Retrofitting
  • Standards

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction


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