Monitoring Urban Heat Islands in Selected Cities of the Gulf Region Based on Nighttime MODIS LST Data (2003–2018)

Abdullah Al-Fazari, Ahmed El-Kenawy, Noura Al-Nasiri, Mohamed Hereher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The urban heat island (UHI) effect is the most obvious atmospheric modification related to urbanization and development. During the past twenty years, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states (Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, United Arab Emirates, and Oman) have witnessed tremendous urban developments and urban expansions. At the same time these countries are experiencing some of the highest rates of economic growth in the world accompanied by accelerated living standards due to the huge reserves of oil production and refining processes. The present study aims to delineate the urban heat island effect (UHI) of the major cities in the GCC during the last two decades, including Dammam, Kuwait, Manama, Doha, Dubai, and Bawshar. Thermal infrared data from 736 images covering the period 2003–2018 were utilized to highlight the nighttime land surface temperature (LST) trends. Images were acquired from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on-board the Aqua satellite on the basis of 8-day composite imaging. LST measurements were conducted within the city centers for the nighttime images. It is observed that Dubai and Doha cities have a considerable warming and nighttime trends give more indications on UHI effects. MODIS data proved to be sufficient for giving an insight overview for the warming of the urban environment in the Gulf region.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in 21st Century Human Settlements
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameAdvances in 21st Century Human Settlements


  • GCC
  • LST
  • Nighttime temperature
  • UHI

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