RIYADH — The policies of the Saudi government continue to focus on further improving the quality of basic services being provided to citizens through multiple channels of spending. This was well manifested in the state’s general budget for the new fiscal year 2024, according to a review of Al-Arabiya Business. It pointed out that among the most important achievements of government policy efforts in 2023 to reach a higher quality of life was the entry of four Saudi cities in the IMD Smart City Index for 2023 for the first time.

These developments and achievements reflect the Kingdom's commitment to becoming a global leader in developing smart cities and leveraging technology to enhance urban life, economic growth and sustainable development.

The Saudi capital city of Riyadh maintained its position as the third smartest Arab city, according to the index, released by the International Institute for Management Development (IMD) in April this year. Makkah entered in the index for the first time this year with the 4th rank while Jeddah ranked 5th and Madinah ranked 7th in the Arab world. At the global level, the city of Riyadh ranked 30th, Makkah 52nd, Jeddah 56th, and Madinah ranked 85th out of a total 141 cities in the world.

This classification confirms the commitment of Riyadh and Saudi Arabia to adopting smart technologies and innovative urban planning to improve the standard of living and sustainability. The entry of these cities into the index indicates a broader commitment within Saudi Arabia to developing urban areas with smart technology and sustainable practices.

The index seeks to assess how technology contributes to improving the quality of life for residents, and to highlight the human-centered approach to developing smart cities. The improvement in the rankings of these Saudi cities is attributed to the collaborative efforts of various agencies, including the National Smart City Platform launched by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA). These efforts demonstrate a comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach to enhancing living standards through smart technology systems, illustrating the Kingdom’s forward-thinking approach to urban development and digitization.

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