Paper presented at the XXXIII IAHS World Congress on Housing, 27-30 September 2005,"Transforming Housing Environments through Design", University of Pretoria.
Dubai, a city-state and the second largest city of the United Arab Emirates, is a fast growing hub with increasing need for infrastructure, housing and public facilities. Dubai is trying to market itself as an attractive holiday destination, which saw the launching and building of large scale housing developments. Some of these include reclamation of vast land areas along the city’s coast line, in addition to creation of artificial lakes and the introduction of the sea inland to create more coastlines. This paper reviews the latest development in the creation of housing for both the local and foreign population of Dubai. In particular, it will examine housing forms borrowed from attractive European holiday destinations. Then, it will critically review the increasing spread of high-rise housing, and the reason behind its popularity in this part of the world. The emerging architecture which is predominantly housing is producing a new urban landscape reminiscent of Hong Kong and Singapore. A number of interviews with important property developers such as EMAAR and NAKHEEL, as well as the local planning authorities will be undertaken to discuss their aggressive development proposals, and to understand their development vision and philosophy. The aim will be to present a critical assessment of Dubai’s emerging housing forms and resulting landscape on the one hand, and to identify the reasons behind the globalization of Dubai housing stock. This will be done by discussing globalization trends affecting this region, and the need for new housing forms to cater for emerging life styles.