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Each city usually has a historical starting point for later urban development. In the case of the Oil City, it is the oasis city that is the political and economic center of the oil boom. In this context, the questions arise after the construction of the historic oasis city and its fate, after the oil began.

Two cities in the Arabian Peninsula are particularly suitable for a detailed analysis and comparison. Firstly, the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh, which is the largest metropolis with over 5 million inhabitants and unlike most of the other million cities in the region lies in the interior of the country and not on the coast. And second, the Emirate of Dubai, which is much smaller with only 3 million inhabitants, but due to its current construction boom attracts all the more attention. The two are very contrasting cities, suitable examples to get to know the core of the general city type of the "Oil City" better. Against the background of the finiteness of the raw material oil, it is particularly interesting to see what the future urban development looks like and whether there can be anything like a "post oil city". The rate of urbanization differs from one country to the other (LeGates, 2006)

Several researcher has contributed to the study of sustainable city design, there is a similarity amongst several urban places although each urban city would be recognized with a distinctive feature. Common features for all cities includes; parks, residential apartments, high rise buildings. It is also important to mention the significant impact of other social physiological factors such as political, demographical, and cultural factors playing a significant role in urbanization development.

The effect of urbanization happens due to certain changes in the city, mostly as a result of large migration thereby increasing population of the city. Migration may be caused by the excessive movement of people due to occupation in the city (Brunn, 2008). Urbanization largely occurs due to large industrial and economic development in the city.                Asides migration and industrialization, steady increase in birth rate is a contributing factor towards the rapid development and urbanization. The development of urbanization shows that the there is an interest in the rapid increase of urbanization of rural area.

1.1 Thesis Problem

The post oil urbanization occurred from the rapid urbanization of different Gulf countries and states in particular the Riyadh and Dubai that arose at late twenty centuries in an attempt of their government and stakeholder to diversify the economy is regarded to be spontaneous rather been planned.

Despite the effort made by the Emirate of Dubai and Saudi Arabia government proposals in recent years to model the first post-oil urbanization that will lead to the initial economic revolution and open the cities to new policies of open market were addressed. This successful development incorporates all the national, international as well as local marketers and investors. Although, urbanization found in Riyadh and Dubai can be regarded to be successful due to the big achievement of this new plans that led to the rapid development in term of urban growth in the region. The idea of restrictions are to loss to some extent in order to welcome investment and increasingly maintain the status of the development. Because the internal and private investors are the back bone of all the development.

Therefore, the planners and developers have the right to make their own plans and projects without any guideline all over but individual decisions. Subsequently, there are different low-quality building structures in the built environment due to the competitions of rising the project and unnecessarily speed of the works in most areas.

Nowadays, the biggest and uncontrolled challenges of the entire Arabian Peninsula are the integral formations of plans and strategies in order to balance the entire system of urban growth and development. Hence, the biggest challenges of the regions is make sure the strategies plans in term of development were put in control but in installation and implementations with effective management measures. The occurrence of financial crisis all over the globe has pressurized the region to clearly define the differences between the event and sustainable urbanization.




1.2 The Aim of the Thesis

The adoption of planning a sustainable city has gained significance interest of several countries across the world. As fascinating as the idea seems to be, there are several challenges towards the development of an advanced and sustainable city design.  Analysis of the development or urbanization that occurs in the gulf cities after the discovery of oil (post-oil-urbanism) remains a very important factors to be discussed in this research, this stance this thesis work to aimed in;

  1. To research, if this fast-urban transformation of the oasis cities to big metropolis is because of the oil boom; is a fast flowering of the desert or had made the future of the whole area.
  2. To describe the general overview of gulf cities which includes the genesis, traditional, contemporary and future development from the context of urban planning.
  3. To explore and employ the analysis of recent works, figures and the solid facts of both built environment and urban governance.
  4. To adopt the general review of literatures in order to study and define characteristic of the oils cities which will serve in deriving our recommendation and future works.
  5. To examine the development from a sustainability point of view of Riyadh and Dubai.

The research questions follow by asking the significance, features and characteristic related to post oil urbanism with regards to built environment, in the case studies Dubai and Riyadh? Which effects had the oil boom on the urban development of the oasis cites? Therefore, the research is not only scoped to the modern development but also the problems and solutions incorporated in the development strategies.





1.3 The Importance of the Thesis

An integrated urban and regional planning approach is seen to be a major condition in responding to the urbanization of the gulf in a proper way. The central importance of this thesis is to understand in a bigger picture the major consequences, current and future situations related to the post oil urbanization in a selected Gulf city, Riyadh and Dubai. This is due to the huge transformation in term of urban development and city planning that were to the best of the authors knowledge not yet been analyzed. The general concept of post oil urbanization was confused by many researchers and therefore the idea was still unanswered. Findings by Florian Wiedmann (2010) explained how Post-oil urbanism in the selected Gulf cities bring lot of problem such as spontaneous development, construction of buildings without proper adhere to building bye laws and regulations, uncoordinated urban growth devoid of any strategic plan as guideline that shapes the development. Thus, the recent transformation of the built environment is resulted from the post-oil urbanism. In the future, the relocation of the oil company after oil finish will make the existing development to be hard to sustain due to the amount energy devised to run each facilities of building, this include the high rise building and manmade islands.

The research bridges the gaps between the researcher of knowledge, students, national and international bodies whose interest laid in the general understanding of post oil development and sustainable life in a gulf city.


1.4 Limitation of the Study

The research was decided to be limited to analyze the development or urbanization occurring in Dubai and Riyadh cities, this is because the scope of gulf countries is wider considering these thesis level. The selected case study is confirming to provide the required standard and to meet the objectives of the thesis in understanding the post oil urbanization and development.  The urban development in the selected Gulf cities in the past 10 years will be analyzed

 Secondly, the recent progress in Riyadh and Dubai such as social, economic and environmental development which in turn called sustainable organizational development.

Therefore, this work focuses on built environment in relation to urban development.  In order to evaluate the urban planning, the pillars of sustainable development need to be addressed and analyses.