Different Perceptions on Building Urban Social Resilience Among Dubai Authorities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceedingpeer-review


Based on interviews with city officials and first responders, this paper analyses perceptions of social resilience in Dubai, a city whose authorities have vowed to make it resilient and sustainable. Social resilience is difficult to achieve in urban settings of the Middle East. This is due to unique contextual challenges which include citizens being accustomed to high standards of living founded upon a fossil fuel economy, and limited awareness of the concept of resilience. However, the region also faces increased vulnerability, owing to the increased local impacts of climate change, and increasingly frequent climate-related extreme events such as droughts and heat waves.
Dubai’s Authorities have recognised this and in their efforts to build a resilient and sustainable city have employed innovative tools and methods that go beyond typical urban resilience frameworks, with a focus on new technologies. Yet they face challenges in ensuring that all involved stakeholders, especially among authorities responsible for implementation, share common goals and visions. It is therefore important to understand how members of different Dubai authorities view the social aspect of resilience, which measures they prioritise and why. As this paper demonstrates, there are diverging views between city authorities and first responders, relating to resourcing, accessibility and efficiency, as well as a notable blind spot in the form of effective community engagement, with it being viewed as a likely positive consequence of other resilience building measures rather than an end in itself. This paper will explore these approaches to social resilience in Dubai and argue for increased community participation and involvement in building and maintaining urban resilience, which can be achieved primarily through better public communication and improved interoperability between different authorities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew York - Livable Cities
Subtitle of host publicationAMPS Proceedings Series 34
EditorsJason Montgomery
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2024
EventLivable Cities: A Conference on Issues Affecting Life in Cities - City Tech - New York City College of Technology, New York, United States
Duration: 14 Jun 202316 Jun 2023

Publication series

ISSN (Print)2398-9467


ConferenceLivable Cities
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityNew York
Internet address


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