Riyadh jumps 18 ranks in global list of smart cities

Saudi Arabia’s capital city Riyadh jumped 18 ranks in the Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) 2020 Smart City Index to rank 53rd among a total of 109 cities worldwide.

The survey measures the satisfaction of residents on five main aspects of the city: health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities and governance.

“According to the survey, which measures residents’ satisfaction in the services and technologies available in their city, the residents of Riyadh are more satisfied with their city’s offering than some of the most advanced cities of the world,” IMD said in a statement.

“The world’s smart cities don’t simply adopt new technology, they make sure it truly improves citizens’ lives,” said Arturo Bris of IMD.

Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Center, said that Riyadh’s performance came as a result of the many improvements the city has implemented.

“Riyadh has made great progress in its performance this year, surpassing cities such as Tokyo, Rome, Paris, and Beijing. This is a strong message that Riyadh has come a long way to develop and improve the quality and standard of life of its citizens,” he underlined.

“The progress achieved in Riyadh over the past twelve months constitutes an example to follow, and a lesson that other cities can benefit from to become smarter and meet the requirements of their residents,” he added.

Singapore came first globally in the IMD 2020 Smart City Index, followed by Helsinki in Finland and Zurich in Switzerland.

World’s Top 10 Smart Cities
4AucklandNew Zealand
9AmsterdamThe Netherlands
10New YorkUS

Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi tops the list in the MENA region, jumping 14 spots to rank 42nd globally, just ahead of Dubai, which climbed two positions to rank 43rd globally.

Top 5 Smart Cities from MENA Region 
NoCity CountryGlobal Rank
1 Abu DhabiUAE 42 
2 Dubai  UAE43 
3 Riyadh Saudi Arabia53 
4 Rabat Morocco 105 
5 Cairo  Egypt 106 

I'm Mohammed Ameen, a blogger passionate about sharing insights and engaging readers with my articles. My commitment is to guide expats with firsthand insights from the Kingdom. Away from my desk, I'm always looking to learn something new.