Globally, there has been enhanced media and public interest in tall buildings following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre in New York. In the Arab region, tall buildings have also become an important topic of debate. The Middle East is set to grow significantly over the next two decades. Soaring population and jobs growth will increase demands for the better use of residential and commercial office space. This is a vital issue for the growth in the economy of the region. The number of construction sites for tall buildings in the Arab world is staggering when compared to European developments. A statistical review of tall buildings has shown for example that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by the year 2010 will outnumber UK and Germany together in the number of 30+ floors buildings by reaching (446 UAE) compared to [243 UK(130) + Germany(113)]. Today high buildings are considered flagship developments not only in the Arab World but also worldwide that play an important part in regeneration. Tall buildings are likely to continue to be relevant to the master planning of areas with good public transport access and capacity. A successful tall building must adhere to a set of clear urban design guidelines that affect the following areas: edges, use, public space, urban integration and environmental factors. This paper addresses this issue. The challenge for architects, urban designers, and planners in the Arab world is to provide the right type and quality of new space and new place that won’t undermine the question of identity. The paper explores the nature of tall buildings in the Arab region and provides examples of the positive and negative transformation of the urban environments in a number of locales. The paper concludes by drawing some guidelines for future development of tall buildings in the Arab World.
|Number of pages||590|
|Publication status||Published - Apr 2008|