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Dubai and Abu Dhabi top table as smartest cities in Middle East

Dubai and Abu Dhabi top table as smartest cities in Middle East

The two cities lead the region in the inaugural IMD Smart City Index

Dubai and Abu Dhabi lead the way when it comes to smart cities in the Middle East, according to new rankings.

The inaugural edition of the IMD Smart City Index ranks Dubai and Abu Dhabi first and second, respectively, in the Middle East in terms of smart city development. Dubai also ranked 45th globally (ahead of the likes of Paris, Chicago and Brussels), while Abu Dhabi was 56th (beating Tokyo and Osaka, among others).

The index ranks 102 cities worldwide, measuring how they align policy with the lives and needs of citizens. It’s created by IMD World Competitiveness Centre’s Smart City Observatory, in partnership with Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).

According to the index, the “smartest” city in the world is Singapore. The Swiss city of Zurich is in second. The top five are rounded out by Oslo, Geneva and Copenhagen, respectively. Auckland, New Zealand is sixth in the index.

Said professor Arturo Bris, director of the IMD World Competitiveness Centre: “Smart cities are growing and blossoming in all parts of the world.”

However, he added: “Economic realities cannot be ignored: cities in poorer countries face disadvantages, which will require specific actions to correct along the path towards smartness.”

(as per IMD Smart City Index)

1. Singapore
2. Zurich
3. Oslo
4. Geneva
5. Copenhagen
6. Auckland
7. Taipei
8. Helsinki
9. Bilbao
10. Dusseldorf


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