This research examines the design of the public neighbourhoods in the United Arab Emirates in terms of social sustainability, especially in the city of Al Ain. Based on the relevant principles and indicators of social sustainability in the neighbourhoods both globally and locally, the research began with an evaluation of the dimensions of social sustainability by adopting a qualitative research method. The research tools included conducting face-to-face interviews with representatives of Emirati families living in public neighbourhoods, analyses of the design patterns of some selected neighbourhoods, field observations and spatial syntactic analyses. Through this multi-phase analysis, a clearer understanding of the level of social sustainability achieved in the design of public neighbourhoods in Al Ain has been realised, and some neighbourhood design guidelines have been proposed.
Keywords: social sustainability, housing, neighbourhood, Al Ain, UAE