The trend of nations adopting initiatives to help with the development of new smart cities will see the smart cities industry grow to a value of more than $400 million by 2020, say experts.
As Zawya reports, the development of smart cities is seen by many countries as the solution to water and energy shortages, higher air pollution, traffic congestion and other challenges due to rapid urbanisation.
It's a problem which is illustrated by the projection that more than 70% of the global population will be living in urban areas by 2050.
Hamza Achour, marketing, alliances & sales operations manager at Smartworld, a leading digital smart service provider in the Middle East, pointed out how Dubai was one of the first cities to recognise potentially diminished resources.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, last year announced a strategy to transform the city into a smart city, which he called "a new era for the improvement and development of quality of life".
IHS Technology, a leading source of technology and telecoms research, anticipates that at least 87 other cities will have followed Dubai's lead by 2025, up from 21 currently.
Achour detailed how cities that incorporate smart initiatives can expect to benefit. He said: "These rapid developments will provide great business opportunities especially for technology and service providers.
"But even before we talk about the revenues, the common goal is to provide cost-efficient services to their residents and make cities both economically vibrant and also environment friendly."