UAE - For the second year in a row, Abu Dhabi and Dubai have been ranked as the smartest cities in the Middle East and North Africa region. Compared to 2020, both the emirates climbed 14 places globally.

While Abu Dhabi is ranked 28, Dubai is closely behind at 29, out of 118 cities on the Smart City Index 2021. The index, by the Institute for Management Development, in collaboration with Singapore University for Technology and Design (SUTD), surveys residents in ranked cities to assess smart infrastructure and services covering health and safety, mobility, activities, opportunities, and governance.

Bruno Lanvin, president, the IMD Smart City Observatory, Switzerland, noted the pandemic has seen an acceleration of digital and ecological transformations in smart cities.

“This acceleration is redefining resilience, which is increasingly becoming a local objective. And cities that have been seen as handling Covid-19 challenges in an efficient and effective way rank high in the report.”

In July, nearly 15,000 residents were surveyed globally across 118 cities.

Singapore, Zurich and Oslo took the top three spots respectively. Others in the top ten are: Taipei City, Lausanne, Helsinki, Copenhagen, Geneva, Auckland and Bilbao. In 2020, Abu Dhabi was ranked 42 and Dubai 43.

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