The UAE's Abu Dhabi has been named by McKinsey & Company as the Middle East and Africa’s most developed Smart City in terms of technology base.
Outstripping big brother Dubai alongside other Smart City contenders from the region, Abu Dhabi has been credited as being the most technologically developed Smart City in the Middle East and Africa.
Technology base was named as one of three drivers for smart city progress in the McKinsey & Company report ‘Smart Cities: Digital Solutions for a More Liveable Future”, and is the combination of three attitudes towards smart city transition; sensor, communication and open portal data. The other two drivers are a city’s citizen awareness, and deployment of Smart City applications.
The consulting firm ranks global cities including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Lagos Nairobi, Cape Town, and Tel Aviv in their smart city journey within the Middle East/Africa category. Whilst the firm states that the list is not exhaustive, the assessment is aimed at showing a full sweep of activity globally in terms of smart city practices and implications to spur on momentum in the field.
Abu Dhabi scored 18.4 out of a total possible score of 37 in the assessment, just over one point above Dubai which was scored 17.3. On par with the most liveable city, Vienna, which scored 18.5, and ahead of both Sydney and Los Angeles, Abu Dhabi ranked highly among some of the world’s greatest cities.
Abu Dhabi ranks ahead of Dubai in Smart City technology base development
Saif Saeed Ghobash, Under-Secretary of the Department of Culture and Tourism in Abu Dhabi said; "In today’s digital age, metropolitan cities the world over are delivering creative ways in which data is used to reinvent the way their city is perceived, explored, interacted with, and how services are delivered.”
“Abu Dhabi ranking number one in the study is testimony to our ongoing efforts to establish the Emirate as both a destination of distinction and a highly modern location in which international communities want to work, live and do business. With apps and online systems in place that support the tourism and business infrastructure of the Emirate, we hope to lead the way to a sustainable future for generations to come,” Ghobash concluded.
The win will bruise the ego of Dubai citizens who are considered to have one of the world's model Smart Cities. The report states; “Cities with robust technology bases are doing more with utilities applications. Dubai has equipped its electricity network with smart meters and has achieved high adoption of home automation systems and behaviour-based electricity consumption tracking.”
Abu Dhabi according to McKinsey however has gone one step further and put in place a stronger technology base, which are the building blocks that must be set into the city before applications can be deployed. “The technology base includes high-speed communication networks, a critical mass of smartphones, open data portals as well as [digital] sensors,” states the report.
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