The Practice of City Planning and Design in the Gulf Region: The Case of Abu Dhabi, Doha and Manama

This research study explores the Arabian Gulf region’s practice of city planning and design in response to the active forces of globalization. The focused scope of analysis is justified by the commonalities that unite the Arabian Gulf region, among them is the active response to globalization and the rapid urbanization process. Following the coverage of the regional context, an investigation of the city planning and design is presented in the study as a case study approach. Three coastal Arabian Gulf capitals -Abu Dhabi, Doha and Manama- are selected as primary units of analysis, investigating their urban evolution, the recent planning practice and urban development vision. The aim of the research study is to establish a theoretical connection between Gulf cities relying on their commonalities. The hypothesis assumes globalization to create a common urban planning practice based on (A) geopolitical facts, (B) historical evolution of urbanism and (C) the recent urban development trends that shape Gulf capital cities. The findings reveal that the urban practice in the Gulf region has been constantly altered in response to global challenges. New trends of megaprojects and international planning are dominating the urban development and growth of Gulf capital cities, where the knowledge of international expertise is flowing into the local planning practice. Therefore, the future of the urbanism is expected to focus on comprehensiveness, master-planning in the national scale, as well as establishing a regional interconnection as a strategic development vision unifying the whole Arabian Gulf region.


Al-Mohannadi, Asmaa Saleh and Raffaello Furlan. "The Practice of City Planning and Design in the Gulf Region: The Case of Abu Dhabi, Doha and Manama." Archnet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research. 12, 2 (2018): 126-145.

ISSN 1938-7806. OCLC 145980807; LOC 2007212183.

Parent Publications

2018 Archnet-IJAR, Archnet, MIT- Massachusetts Institute of Technology