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Wego reports that The International Institute for Management Development (IMD) has issued the IMD Smart City Index 2024, which covers 142 cities globally. The ranking is based on various criteria, primarily focusing on the integration of technology within the scope of the city management while meeting the population’s needs. 

In the latest rankings, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have secured positions in the top 20, landing at 10th and 12th places, respectively. This marks a notable advancement from the 2023 rankings, where they were positioned at 13th and 17th places.

The improvement can be credited to these cities’ clear strategies of integrating technology to meet residents’ needs while also prioritizing environmental conservation.

Five more GCC cities performed better than the previous year. Medina of Saudi Arabia and the capital city of Qatar, Doha, have pushed forward 11 ranks in the list compared to 2023. Medina scored 74th against 85th in 2023, while Doha secured the 48th spot, up from 59th in 2023. Muscat rose to the 88th spot, compared to 96th in 2023.

Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi, advanced 5 ranks from 30 to 25 this year. As a whole, Saudi Arabia featured more cities with better improvements than other GCC countries, with 3 cities. This is due to the new addition of Al-Khobar city in the Index 2024, earning the 99th spot.

These major advancements are primarily due to the fact that these cities align their vision with the IMD Index’s criteria of selection, which are improving quality of life, reducing carbon emissions, converting public places into attractions, and harmoniously blending technology in various aspects without harming the environment.