Design regulations#

Arabian Peninsula#


Bahrain does not have any national design code or seismic regulations established (Pascucci et. al. 2008).


Although the construction industry became regulated in 1985, there are no national design codes or seismic regulations established (Pascucci et. al. 2008; Al Fahad 2012)


Before 2013, American regulations were often applied. In 2013, a national design code was issued based on Eurocode 8 (Hancilar et. al. 2018; Waris et. al. 2017).


A national design code was established in 2010 (Dabbeek et. al. 2020). In 2014, seismic design regulations were introduced in the Watar national construction standards (QCS) that are based on ASCE7-05 (Avci and Al Nouss 2018)

Saudi Arabia#

Seismic design regulations were introduced in 2007 as a part of the Saudi Building Code (SBC-301-2007), which are based on the IBC and ASCE codes (Hassaballa et. al. 2017).

United Arab Emirates#

Seismic regulations introduced in 2013 cover mid-rise and high-rise buildings (Issa and Mwafy 2014, Pascucci et. al. 2008).


Although building regulations in Yemen were inrtoduced in 2002, there are no deliberate seismic design regulations. Implementation of the design code is mainly limited to urban areas (UN-HABITAT 2016).



As a part of the Soviet Union, buildings in Armenia were designed and constructed following SNIP II-7-81. However, in 1988 the Spitak earthquake killed 25,000 to 50,000.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Armenia introduced its own national seismic design regulations in 1994. In 2000, the first construction norms for the rehabilitation, restoration, and reinforcement of buildings was introduced (ATC 2017). The seismic design regulations were updated in 2006 (Earthquake Resistant Construction Design Codes; RABC II-6.02-2006). These regulations are supplemented by construction norms (Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Reinforcement of Buildings and Structures: Key Provisions; CNRA 20-06-2014).

The RABC II-6.02-2006 addresses (ATC 2017):

  • Seismic zoning in Armenia

  • Soil classification, including soil factors

  • Earthquake loads

  • Structural analysis and design principles, including importance factors, permissable levels of damage, and height limits


Until 2009, the former Soviet code (SNiP II-7-81) was used in Azerbaijan (Zeynalov et. al. 2013). In 2009, Azerbaijan introduced its national seismic design code (AzDTN; Zeynalov et. al. 2013).


As a part of the Soviet Union, buildings in Georgia were designed and constructed following SNIP II-7-81. In 2009, a national seismic design code for Georgia was introduced (PN 01.01-09).



Since 2014, seismic design regulations using UBC-97 became mandatory for buildings above three stories. In 2017, the Jordanian Code for Earthquake Resistant Buildings (JCERB) became the national standard (WHE 2014).


Seismic design regulations were first introduced in 1975 (Sever et. al. 2015). However, the seismic regulations were not made comprehensive until 1995 (Sever 2007). In light of the damaging 1999 earthquake in Turkey, the Israeli government encouraged citizens to strengthen inadequately reinforced concrete buildings in 2005 (Isareli State Comptroller 2011).


Seismic design guidelines existed since 1985, however, implementation began in 2005 using UBC-97 for residential buildings abobe 12 meters (Al Nimry 2013).


Use of various design standards, including American and European standards, were used in Lebanon. In 2005, a minimum peak ground acceleration (PGA) of 02.g was established as a minimum design level for buildings over 10m, which was later raised to 0.25g in 2012 (Dabbeek et. al. 2020). Implementation of building codes began in 2012 (Salameh et. al. 2016)


In 1992, the first national design code was issued. In 1995, seismic regulations were added to the national design code. In 1997, code implementation became compulsory (Dabbeek et. al. 2020). In 2004, UBC-97 was implemented as the national design code (Nassif 2011, WHE 2014)

Rest of the Middle East#


A national building design code was introduced in 1987. In 1997, seismic regulations (i.e., UBC-85) became mandatory for concrete structures. In 2014, the code was substituted with IBC 2012 and became mandatory for masonry buildings (Al-Taie et. al. 2014; Taha and Hasan 2018).




ATC (2017) Guidelines for the Seismic Retrofit of Existing Schools and Design of New Schools in the Republic of Armenia. Available at:

Al Fahad J (2012) Reform of building codes, regulations, administration and enforcement in Kuwait: within the legal, administrative, technical & social framework. Loughborough University, Loughborough

Al-Nimry HS (2013) Quasi-static testing of RC infilled frames and confined stone-concrete bearing walls. J Earthq Eng 18:1–23.

Al-Taie E, Al-Ansari N, Knutsson S (2014) The need to develop a building code for Iraq. Engineering 6:610–632.

Avci O, Al Nouss M (2018) Seismic assessment of existing lowrise and midrise reinforced concrete buildings using the 2014 Qatar construction specification. J Archit Eng 24:1–18.

Dabbeek, Jamal, and Vitor Silva. “Modeling the residential building stock in the Middle East for multi-hazard risk assessment.” Natural Hazards 100, no. 2 (2020): 781-810.

Hancilar U, El-Hussain I, Sesetyan K, Deif A, Cakti E, Al-Rawas G, Safak E, Al-Jabri K (2018) Earthquake risk assessment for the building inventory of Muscat, Sultanate of Oman. Nat Hazards 93:1419–1434.

Hassaballa AE, Adam FM, Ismaeil MA (2017) Seismic analysis of a ten-storey reinforced concrete building in Jazan Area, KSA. Open J Civ Eng 07:252–266.

Issa A, Mwafy A (2014) Fragility Assessment of pre-seismic code buildings and emergency facilities in the UAE. In: Second european conference on earthquake engineering and seismology. Istanbul

Nassif SI (2011) Evaluating the values of some factors and seismic requirements, given by the seismic Syr- ian code. Accessed 24 Apr 2019

Pascucci V, Free MW, Lubkowski ZA (2008) Seismic hazard and seismic design requirements for the Ara- bian Peninsula region. In: The 14 world conference on earthquake engineering (14 WCEE). Beijing, China

Salameh C, Guillier B, Harb J, Cornou C, Bard P, Voisin C, Mariscal A (2016) Seismic response of Beirut (Lebanon) buildings: instrumental results from ambient vibrations. Bull Earthq Eng 14:2705– 2730.

Sever M (2007) A seismic architecture as an essential component of the structural integrity of Israeli apartment buildings in earthquakes. M.Sc. Technion, Hebrew.

Sever, M., Y. Garb, and D. Pearlmutter. “Building in Resilience: Long-term Considerations in the Design and Production of Residential Buildings in Israel.” In Disaster Management: Enabling Resilience, pp. 65-90. Springer, Cham, 2015.

Isareli State Comptroller (2011) The durability of structures and infrastructures in earthquakes—a situation report. Jeruaslem (Hebrew).

Taha B, Hasan S (2018) A comparative study of the seismic provisions between Iraqi Seismic codes 2014 and 1997 for Kurdistan Region/Iraq. In: 4th international engineering conference on developments in civil & computer engineering applications 2018. Erbil, Iraq

UN-HABITAT (2016) Republic of Yemen National Report. Third United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development - HABITAT III. Accessed 24 Apr 2019

Waris MB, Al-jabri KS, El-hussain I (2017) Comparison Of Oman Seismic Code For Buildings with Inter- national Counterparts. In: World Conference on Earthquake (16WCEE). Santiago, Chile

WHE (2014) World Housing Encyclopedia. Accessed 27 Aug 2018

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