New Developments in the UAE and Saudi Building Codes

Shamim Rashid-Sumar
Vice President - Development, Middle East
Jensen Hughes, Dubai

In the past 10 years, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have experienced significant growth in quality of design and volume of construction of tall buildings. During this period, there was a recognized need to develop and document fire and life safety code requirements specific to these jurisdictions, to accommodate the aspects of increased building height in commercial building design, as well as the unique aspects of the many iconic buildings which were added to the skyline of urban centers in KSA and the UAE. These buildings require a code of practice that mandates preservation of life and property from the threat of fire and other emergencies. The Saudi Building Code, first published in 2007, adopted the Codes of the International Code Council as its basis. The first revision to the Saudi Building Code was to be published in August 2018. The UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice, first published in 2011, was influenced by several international codes and standards and developed through collaboration of UAE fire safety professionals. The first formal revision of the UAE Code was released in 2017 and was formally implemented in March 2018.

This presentation discusses the evolution of the Saudi Building Code and the UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice and provides a detailed review of updates to the fire protection and life safety provisions of these codes. In particular, the presentation examines provisions for facades and cladding systems, compartmentation, fire service access to high-rise buildings, renewable energy systems, roles and responsibilities of stakeholders, and enforcement.

Accompanying PowerPoint Presentation