The UAE Fire and Life Safety Code of Practice defines the occupancies, based on which the construction requirements, height, area, fire resistance of structural elements, separation between buildings are dictated to 18 categories.

1. Assembly

An occupancy used for a gathering of people for deliberation, worship, entertainment, eating, drinking, amusement, awaiting transportation, or similar uses.

2. Business

An occupancy used for the transaction of business other than mercantile, usually used for office, professional or service-type transactions, including storage of records and accounts.

3. Educational

An occupancy used for educational purposes.

4. Healthcare

An occupancy used to provide medical, psychiatric, surgical, therapeutic treatment for people.

5. Residential

An occupancy, other than Villa, that provides sleeping accommodations with independent cooking and bathroom facilities where people live on a permanent basis.

6. Private Villa

Single family dwelling unit, generally ground with first floor, built and solely owned by individual on the individual plot.

7. Commercial Villa

One or Two family dwelling units, generally ground with first floor, built in a group by developer and sold, leased or rented to individual families. Mosques, community halls, recreation facilities may also be part of this development.

8. Detention & Correctional

An occupancy used to house one or more persons under varied degrees of restraint or security where such occupants are mostly incapable of self preservation
because of security measures not under the occupants’ control.

9. Hotel

A building or groups of buildings under the same management in which there are sleeping accommodations for lodging with or without meals for people on a transients basis.

10. Day care

An occupancy in which four or more clients receive care, maintenance, and supervision, by other than their relatives or legal guardians, for less than 24 hours per day.

11. Mercantile

An occupancy used for the display and sale of merchandise. It involves stocks of goods, wares or merchandise. Group of mercantile occupancies under a single roof or not separated and having a ground floor built up area of more than 3600 square-meter, irrespective of the number of storeys, shall be considered as Malls.

12. Storage & Warehouse

An occupancy used primarily for the storage or sheltering of goods, merchandise, products, or vehicles.

13.1. Industrial, Factories & Workshops

An occupancy in which products are manufactured or in which processing, assembling, mixing, packaging, finishing, decorating, or repair operations are conducted.

13.2. Special purpose industries & factories

An industrial occupancy in which ordinary and low hazard industrial operations are conducted in buildings designed for, and suitable only for, particular types of operations, characterized by a relatively low density of employee population, with much of the area occupied by machinery or equipment.

14.1. Covered Mall

A roofed or covered common pedestrian area within a covered mall building that serves as access for multiple tenants and not to exceed three levels that are open to each other.

14.2. Open Mall

An unroofed common pedestrian way serving a number of tenants not exceeding three levels. Circulation at levels above grade shall be permitted to include open exterior balconies leading to exits discharging at grade.

15.1. Open Parking

A Parking occupancy where in each parking level, any part of the carpark is within 30 m of the permanent natural ventilation wall openings open to the atmosphere for an area of not less than 0.4 square-meter for each linear meter distributed over 40 percent of the building perimeter surface or uniformly over two opposing sides. And interior wall lines and column lines are at least 20 percent open, with openings distributed to provide ventilation.

15.2. Enclosed Parking

A parking occupancy which doesn’t qualify as open parking and is enclosed on all sides.

15.3. Robotic or Mechanical Parking

A parking structure that uses computer-controlled machines to store and retrieve vehicles, without drivers, in multi-level storage racks with no floors.

15.4. Covered Parking

An open parking space with cover or sunshade.

16. Robotic Storage

An occupancy or a warehouse or storage structure that uses computer-controlled machines to store and retrieve goods, in multi-level storage racks with no floors.

17. Animal Housing

An occupancy where animals, birds and creatures are fed, rested, exercised, Trained, sold, treated, exhibited, reproduced such as Veterinary Clinics, Zoos, Animal care centers, pet shops.

18. Motor Fuel Dispensing Facilities

An occupancy where motor fuels are stored and dispensed from fixed equipment into the fuel tanks of motor vehicles or marine craft or into approved containers, including all equipment used in connection therewith.