Redefining Boundaries: A Design Proposal for a Migrant Worker Communal Housing Plan in Al Quoz, Dubai, UAE
Bryn Mawr College. Department of Growth and Structure of Cities
Place of Publication
Table of Contents
Being born and brought up in the UAE, I had the privilege of watching Dubai transform from a desert port into a thriving metropolis with the third-most skyscrapers in the world. With the increased demand for migrant workforce due to large projects like Expo 2020, the UAE and the rest of the Gulf are going through a transformation that could affect their migrant workers. Since 2014, about 34,000 laborers have died in the Gulf due to exploitative working and living conditions. I believe it is crucial to evaluate the impact of design, and for this thesis, I am proposing a redesign of the UAE's migrant worker housing to provide more humane housing conditions for the low-income, diasporic migrant worker population living in the UAE. The current 'labor camps' in the UAE are extremely overcrowded and lack basic amenities. The design solution aims to meet the needs of the migrant workers in the effort to provide humane living conditions. I will propose a portable, sustainable, and flexible communal housing model that will serve the current migrant workers and possibly their families in the future. The site will include integrated introverted-extroverted spaces, which will be built up of modular typologies that can change over time as demographics and needs change. The spatial arrangement of the building typologies with mixed functions could contribute to the social and cultural integration of the migrants in various ways.