Smart cities in the United Arab Emirates

Smart cities in the United Arab Emirates

The goal of the UAE government is to achieve a perfect balance between economic and social development. They want to keep ensuring sustainable development and environmental preservation. Abu Dhabi and Dubai are the smartest cities in the Middle East and North Africa. According to the Smart City Index 2021, the Institute for Management Development (IMD) and Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD) asks residents of ranked cities to complete surveys about smart infrastructure and services related to health and safety mobility, activities, opportunities, and governance.

The smart city program seeks innovative startups in the following fields:

  • Connectivity and IoT
  • Urban Automation & Transportation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Public City Data on Blockchain
  • Sustainable Cities and Lifestyles
  • Effective Government
  • The Sector of Smart Retail

Top Smart Cities in the United Arab Emirates

The UAE's desire to build smart cities stems from the government's Vision 2021. It was an ambitious plan to make the UAE one of the world's best nations. By constructing smart cities, the UAE would pave the way to achieving one of Vision 2021's six national priorities. It is a sustainable environment and infrastructure. Smart cities in the United Arab Emirates include:

Abu Dhabi

The Economic Vision 2030 for Abu Dhabi aims to transition the emirate's economy away from natural resources. It will be toward knowledge, innovation, and the export of cutting-edge technologies.

This issue would result in the diversification of the economy through the discovery of various new economic options. Developing a smart city is a significant step forward in this strategy.

The Abu Dhabi Economic Plan 2030's third priority area is the development of appropriate infrastructure. They do it while preserving the environment. The UAE government wants to build a well-run urban environment. They want to provide world-class traffic and transportation systems for it.

Masdar City

Abu Dhabi initiated planning for Masdar City in 2006. Masdar City is a regional and global example of a smart, sustainable city. The master plan for Masdar comprised essential elements such as:

  • Optimizing solar energy efficiency to maximize efficiency gains.
  • Integration of all facets of urban life through the provision of minimal transportation.
  • Limits construction and building heights.
  • Providing a high quality of life in an ecologically and environmentally responsible manner.

Masdar City represents the first attempt to build a sustainable city in the Middle East. Masdar City aims to reduce its energy, water, and waste consumption. A combination of technology, architectural design, and solar energy will power the building. Utilizing minimal energy is one of its primary environmental conservation measures.

For instance, using low-flow showerheads and intelligent water meters reduces water waste. The architecture of Masdar City ensures that the city's streets and residences are cooler than they would otherwise be. Additionally, the use of energy-efficient appliances conserves energy.

The base of the International Renewable Energy Agency is in Masdar City. This international group helps countries move toward a more sustainable energy future.

Zayed Smart City

The Department of Urban Planning and Municipalities in Abu Dhabi launched a project. In 2018, they started the pilot phase of the Zayed Smart City Project. It is a five-year plan for Smart Cities and Artificial Intelligence (2018–2022). Using information technology and the internet of things will manage the infrastructure.

Smart City, Al Ain.

Al-Ain City Municipality and an AI company collaborate on developing innovative solutions. Its basis was in artificial intelligence and data analysis. These technologies support the smart city initiative. It aimed to improve the quality of life for Al Ain residents. The Al Ain City Municipality wants to improve the quality of city services by building a sustainable infrastructure. They want to take care of public facilities and the look of the city as a whole and work with the community to provide excellent services.


The goal of Dubai Plan 2021 is to transform Dubai into a smart and sustainable city. The basis of the Dubai Smart City project is to transform government services into six sectors. These sectors are transportation, infrastructure, communications, financial services, urban planning, and electricity. We broke these projects into the following groups:

  • Open and straightforward data access.
  • Smart transport maximizes.
  • Energy resources.
  • Smart parks and beaches.
  • Apps for police officers' smartphones.
  • The brand-new main control room.

Consolidating all government agencies into a single entity is one key to transforming Dubai into a smart city. It provides comprehensive services to customers in an efficient manner. Current projects in this initiative use smart applications and devices along three tracks:

  • Smart life covers health, education, transportation, communications, public utilities, and energy services.
  • The basis of the smart economy is the growth of smart companies. Port services, stock markets, and smart jobs are also essential.
  • Smart tourism involves providing a smart and convenient environment for emirate visitors. It includes visas, flights, smart gates, and smart hotel services.

The Silicon Oasis in Dubai

Dubai's Plan 2021 to transform the emirate into a smart city is articulated by the Silicon Park (SP) project. As of January 2016, Dubai Silicon Oasis (DSO) had cut its total energy use by 31%. It was more than the 30% cut that Dubai Integrated Energy Strategy 2030 had set as a goal.

The South District of Dubai

Expo 2020 was held in Dubai's South District. Sustainability is one of Expo 2020's themes. Half of the electricity used by Expo during the event is generated on-site. The other half comes from renewable sources. Most of the materials used to build permanent structures on the site were reused to build infrastructure.

Digital Park in Dubai

Dubai Digital Park is the UAE's first integrated free zone technology park. It concerns life, society, mobility, the economy, governance, and the environment.

Dubai Digital Park (DDP) is a smart city project to be opened in 2020 at Dubai Silicon Oasis. It helps make a geo-economic map of Dubai. It set a new standard for smart technology solutions worldwide.

The Park's amenities include a hotel with 112 business hotel rooms. It has 59 furnished apartments and a convention center that can accommodate more than 500 people. The fourth quarter of 2019 marked the completion of Dubai Digital Park, and in 2020, businesses began to move in.

"Desert Rose City"

Desert Rose City will be built along the Dubai-Al Ain Road in the Al Ruwayyah neighborhood. This property is also mixed-use. Its design, resembling a desert rose flower, would aid in lowering electricity consumption. It will be powered by renewable energy that it generates itself. Also included would be a waste recycling facility. Desert Rose City will feature 20,000 residential units for Emiratis and 10,000 for expatriates.

Sustainable Sharjah City

Sharjah Sustainable City is the first integrated, net-zero energy community in the United Arab Emirates. Its goal is to create a world-class, sustainable, and happy community.

19th Dec 2022

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