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Migrant knowledge workers' perceptions of housing conditions in Gulf cities

Salama, Ashraf M. and Wiedmann, Florian and Ibrahim, Hatem (2018) Migrant knowledge workers' perceptions of housing conditions in Gulf cities. Journal of International Migration and Integration, 19 (1). pp. 15-33. ISSN 1874-6365

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Abstract

The various efforts in diversifying local economies in most Gulf States led to the emergence of new medium to high income groups of migrant knowledge workers whose efforts are required to develop various new economic sectors. This paper aims to investigate the current housing conditions and perceptions of these migrant communities to identify key similarities and differences with respect to housing made available to them and depending on their cultural background. To this end, the methodology involves field surveys to explore the three main housing typologies for higher income groups, and a questionnaire with a total of 258 knowledge workers in the city of Doha as a representative case to investigate the associated perceptions of four dominant groups from different cultural backgrounds. The findings reveal that there is a distinct social segregation between cultural groups, which is mainly rooted in varying income levels. Furthermore, the supply-driven market has hardly integrated cultural needs of migrants and thus diversified and inclusive housing has been identified as major planning and design challenge.