Riyadh is 5th smartest city among G20 Capitals

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi Arabia’s capital, Riyadh, has grabbed fifth rank in the IMD index for smart cities 2020, marking a great improvement in the city’s ranking. 

Riyadh jumped 18 places and overtook some world-class cities including Tokyo, Rome, Paris and Beijing to gain this position as the fifth smartest city among the G20 members.

The progress achieved by Riyadh in the areas of digital transformation, data and artificial intelligence is reflected through this ranking. The recognition also marks the ability of the city to embrace the most modern technologies and digital solutions, in addition to executing the digital government transactions and digital identity service that were proceeded with great speed and flexibility.

Remarkably, the rapid and flexible response of the digitally administered government and the ease of setting up new businesses within a short time period, thanks to the applications and platforms which are efficiently operated by the Saudi government, played a significant part in raising health, hygiene and safety indicators for Riyadh, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic spread.

Moreover, this recognition is an example of the progress gained through the cooperation and coordination of various ministries and departments of the Saudi government. 

IMD Smart City Index

The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) Smart City Index is a uniquely framed index that focuses on how citizens perceive the scope and impact of efforts to make their cities smart and balance its economic and technological aspects with human dimensions.

The IMD World Competitiveness Center’s Smart City observatory was first initiated in the year 2019 in association with the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD).