A Master of Science thesis in Civil Engineering by Gaith Abdulrahman Al Shamsi entitled, "Seismic Risk Assessment of Buildings in Dubai, United Arab Emirates," submitted in June 2013. Thesis advisor is Dr. Mohammad AlHamaydeh. Available are both soft and hard copies of the thesis.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is generally known to be a region of low seismicity despite being in close proximity to active seismic zones. However, recent moderate earthquakes that occurred within the UAE highlighted the fact that the country is not immune to significant seismic activity. Therefore, the main aim if this study is to assess the seismic risk of buildings in Dubai. In order to do so, the city of Dubai is divided into sectors based on usage; and data regarding the distribution of buildings and population are acquired from Dubai Municipality, satellite images and field visits. Five reference structures, ranging from 2 to 16 stories, representing the building stock of Dubai are meticulously modeled. Forty-four earthquake records representing Far-Field events are adopted from the FEMA-P695 publication. The records are matched to a target spectrum representing local seismicity, which is adopted from a recent seismic hazard assessment study. Incremental Dynamic Analyses (IDA) are performed and fragility curves are developed for each reference structure using the procedure proposed by FEMA-P695. Performance limit states utilized in this thesis are adopted from the ASCE 41-06 standard. The performance of each building is evaluated at three levels of hazard, the Maximum Considered Earthquake level (MCE), the design level, which corresponds to two-thirds of the MCE level, and twice the MCE level. Finally, human losses and economic losses are estimated using loss rates provided by the ATC-13 report and the SEAOC blue book, respectively. It is observed that the probabilities of exceeding the Collapse Prevention (CP) limit state for the reference structures are below 20% at the design and MCE levels. Furthermore, the IDA curves for the investigated buildings indicate that the shorter buildings exhibit better performance compared to the taller ones. Moreover, the seismic risk maps illustrate that the estimated number of fatalities at the MCE level are generally low; and that economic and human losses are higher in the commercial zone. Based on the modeling assumption and analyses performed in this study, there are no major concerns regarding the vulnerability of the considered representative buildings in Dubai.