Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Khaled Adham

Second Advisor

Dr. Mohmoud Haggag

Third Advisor

Dr. Mark Gillem


This study attempts to fill a gap within the current existing literature of the worldwide phenomenon of rise and spread of walled communities. The study primarily examines the factors relating to gated residential communities in Dubai, a city that is not covered in the literature of the subject. Specifically, it traces the emergence of gated residential communities in the urban history of Dubai, investigates their magnitude over time, locates them within the city, and investigates the various factors affecting their spread, particularly in the past few decades. To achieve these objectives, a field survey and a qualitative research were conducted using site visits, literature review and archival resources, and selected interviews with experts. The data collected was analyzed through a cyclical process of reduction, coding and data display tactics, using archival resources, maps, charts and diagrams of the gated residential communities. The research outcome reveals that the emergence of gated residential communities in Dubai coincides with the arrival of foreign companies either for oil or construction projects. These communities were represented in staff accommodation form. Furthermore, the study estimates the magnitude of these enclaved communities in terms of built units and number of residents living in them. Finally, the study shows their geographic distribution in the city today. The study concludes that the spread of the gated communities in Dubai was primarily due to the dual effects of economic and lifestyle transformations. Moreover, through the global tendency of economic enhancement, these communities have been providing a harmonious atmosphere, fulfilling lifestyle society. From another perspective, these enclaved communities have contributed to creating a uniquely desirable image of the city, necessary for acquiring the status of a global city.