The study aims to underscore the initiatives taken by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in spearheading their drive towards creating “smart” cities.
The study uses a qualitative approach by invoking documentary analysis supplemented by responses provided by 13 interviewees from public and private sector.
All the six GCC countries (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates) are keen on building upon their infrastructure to push their “smart city” agenda which would go a long way in furthering the economic diversification objective of their region besides improving the quality of public services.
Hitherto, research has been focused on appreciating the “smart city” initiatives of developed countries; this study seeks to build upon the literature on “smart cities” by contextualizing the research setting in the developing countries. Second, the study shows that with the ongoing oil prices crisis in the GCC, the “smart city” initiatives of the countries are conceived as possible avenues of economic diversification and competitiveness.
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