Global Smart City Forum Launches in KSA with 100 Speakers


  • Saudi Arabia hosts the first Global Smart City Forum, emphasizing sustainable urban development.
  • The forum aligns with Vision 2030, focusing on improving citizens’ quality of life through technology.
  • SDAIA’s National Smart Cities Platform showcases significant advancements in traffic and environmental management.

In an ambitious move towards urban innovation, Saudi Arabia recently inaugurated the first Global Smart City Forum, marking a significant milestone in its journey towards Vision 2030. The forum, organized by the Saudi Data and Artificial Intelligence Authority (SDAIA) in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs, was held under the theme ‘A Better Life.’ Over 100 speakers from 40 countries convened to discuss the future of smart, sustainable urban living.

Global Smart City Forum: Vision for a future-ready kingdom

The Global Smart City Forum aligns with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s vision to transform Saudi Arabia into a leading hub for data-driven and AI-based economies. The event underscored the kingdom’s commitment to leveraging technology for enhancing the quality of life and fostering sustainable urban development. Majid bin Abdullah Al-Hogail, Saudi Minister of Municipal and Rural Affairs, emphasized the strategy to envision cities as vibrant, sustainable, and technology-driven centers.

Innovations and collaborations unveiled

The event showcased the latest in smart city innovations, with more than 101 exhibitors demonstrating how technology can offer improved living standards. Discussions at the forum covered a wide range of topics, including the role of technology in global cities, future urban mobility, and strategies for green, sustainable urban planning.

Dr. Abdullah bin Sharaf Al-Ghamdi, President of SDAIA, highlighted the National Smart Cities Platform ‘Smart C,’ which has already made strides in reducing traffic congestion and improving urban landscapes in Saudi Arabia. The platform’s success stories include enhanced traffic and crowd management during the Hajj season and a significant increase in green space per capita in Riyadh.

The Global Smart City Forum also focused on the importance of fostering a smart city ecosystem to support sustainable growth. Initiatives like the Smart Cities Accelerator and the Smart Challenge were showcased, highlighting the collaborative efforts to solve urban challenges through innovative solutions. These programs have facilitated the involvement of local and international startups, as well as academic institutions, in the smart city movement.

Global partnerships for Smart City advancements

The partnership with Fira Barcelona brought international expertise to the Riyadh-hosted forum, indicating a strong global interest in collaborating on smart city policies. NVIDIA’s CEO, Jensen Huang, discussed the role of AI in creating safer, more efficient, and sustainable urban environments. The Seoul Digital Foundation also shared its objectives, emphasizing the importance of digital inclusion and support for startups in the smart city domain.

Riyadh’s transformation journey

Prince Dr. Faisal bin Abdulaziz bin Ayyaf, Mayor of Riyadh Region, spoke about Riyadh’s comprehensive transformation strategy. The city’s ambitious plans and projects are set to position Riyadh as a global model for urban development, reflecting the high aspirations of the Saudi leadership.

The Global Smart City Forum in Saudi Arabia has set a new benchmark for international collaboration in the pursuit of smarter, more sustainable urban living. The discussions and initiatives unveiled at the Global Smart City Forum highlight the kingdom’s proactive approach to embracing technology for the betterment of its citizens and the global community. As Saudi Arabia continues on its path towards Vision 2030, the insights and partnerships formed at this event will undoubtedly play a crucial role in shaping the future of urban development worldwide.

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Glory Kaburu

Glory is an extremely knowledgeable journalist proficient with AI tools and research. She is passionate about AI and has authored several articles on the subject. She keeps herself abreast of the latest developments in Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning and writes about them regularly.

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