Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia capital Riyadh has jumped 18 placesto finish 53rd out of 109 in a list of the world’s smartest cities.
Globally, Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich came out on top of the index in a year that saw many European cities fall.
Meanwhile, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have emerged as the smartest cities in the region.
The UAE capital jumped 14 spots to rank 42nd while Dubai rose two places to 43rd.
Others in the top 10 included Auckland, Oslo, Copenhagen, Geneva, Taipei City, Amsterdam and New York, while the African cities of Abuja, Nairobi, and Lagos ranked bottom.
Issued by the Swiss-based International Institute for Management Development (IMD), the Smart City Index, now in its second year, ranks cities based on economic and technological data, as well as by their citizens’ perceptions of how “smart” their cities are.
“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.