Skip to main content

Modeling the residential building stock in the Middle East for multi-hazard risk assessment


This study presents an exposure model for the residential building stock in the Middle East, developed for the purpose of multi-hazard risk assessment. The exposure model provides the number of buildings, number of dwellings and population in 12 countries with their corresponding physical characteristics, geographical location and economic value. The main sources of data used to develop this model were housing and population census surveys, existing literature and the judgment of local experts. The study also includes an overview of the most common building types in different parts of the region. A simplified multi-hazard exposure taxonomy is introduced to identify relevant building features according to the type of natural hazard. The exposure model was disaggregated at a fine spatial resolution, using a combination of various remote-sensing datasets, and overlapped with hazard maps to identify population and buildings exposed to floods and earthquakes. The results from this study represent a significant step toward a better understanding of risk due to natural hazards in Jordan, Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Yemen, Oman, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Iraq.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6


Download references


The authors would like to express their gratitude to several local experts including Dr. Hala Hasan, Dr. Jalal Dabbeek, Dr. Ammar Shakir Bek and Eng. Al Mouayed Bellah Nafeh for their feedback. The flood hazard data were kindly provided by Dr. Andrew Smith from Fathom.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Jamal Dabbeek.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Dabbeek, J., Silva, V. Modeling the residential building stock in the Middle East for multi-hazard risk assessment. Nat Hazards 100, 781–810 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Exposure
  • Residential buildings
  • Middle East
  • Multi-hazard
  • Flood
  • Earthquake