30 September, 2020
Abu Dhabi, Dubai Emerge as Smartest Cities in Middle East
Institute for Management Development’s (IMD) 2020 Smart City Index ranked Dubai and Abu Dhabi as the smartest cities in the region based on economic and technological data from 109 countries.
In the last 12 months, the city of Abu Dhabi has surged ahead in the Smart City Index rankings, jumping to 42nd globally, while Dubai reached 43rd. Both cities were ranked below #50 in the last year’s rankings.
The findings provide an interesting insight into the economic model that countries typically followed prior to the pandemic, and how they have adapted to counter the adverse effects. While the main city, or the business capital largely drove economic activity, the rankings indicate that countries are developing the ability to go beyond their capital and bring up other cities for economic growth. This is reflected in Birmingham jumping 12 spots while London jumped only 5 spots. Also, Bilbao performed much better in the ranking than Madrid.
Another aspect is the general perception of the public about how smart the cities are.
As per the IESE Cities in Motion Index, the top 3 ranking smart cities are New York, London and Paris. The survey involved hundreds of respondents from 109 countries, who provided responses on key aspects of mobility, activities, Health and safety, opportunities and governance. The findings provide a very important conclusion that each city follows a different model to combat the adverse effects of an economic crisis.
Globally, the cities of Singapore, Helsinki and Zurich have emerged on the top while almost all other European cities saw a drop in the rankings.