Dubai Building Code for Villa Owners


In Dubai, the authorities shall calculate the GFA based as below;

Gross floor area (GFA): Measurement used by Planning Authorities in Dubai to define the floor area ratio (FAR), where FAR is the ratio of GFA to plot area. The building GFA is the sum of the GFA of all floors, measured to the exterior surface of the external wall thickness and from the centrelines of the common walls joining two spaces. The measurement excludes external wall features such as corniches, brackets, and façade cladding materials.


Areas included in GFA: 

  • Habitable and occupiable spaces including sanitary facilities, 
  • Lobbies, Corridors, 
  • Stairs, 
  • Elevator shaft at elevator recall floor, 
  • Storage on ground and above, 
  • Gym with gross area >50% of roof area, 
  • Base of double height volumes and atria

Areas excluded in GFA: 

  • Basements in villas, 
  • Attic spaces less than 2.15 m height and used for services only to be excluded, 
  • Parking, 
  • Mechanical and service rooms, 
  • Mechanical ducts, 
  • Elevator shafts at other floors, 
  • Elevator machine rooms, 
  • Shafts, 
  • Waste rooms, 
  • Storage below ground, 
  • Prayer room and ablution area, 
  • Gym with gross area ≤50% of roof area, 
  • Swimming pools (indoor and outdoor) including services (showers, toilets, lockers, changing rooms, etc.), 
  • Terraces and 


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