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Montag, 27.05.2024
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Mastercard Cities of the Future Report on the Mena region finds that priority innovations span connected buildings, smart travel and services powered by AI.

More than three-quarters of people (76 per cent) living in Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE agree that living in a smart city would make them happier, according to research by global payment technology company Mastercard.

It follows a survey for the Mastercard Cities of the Future Report that aims to tap into the aspirations of urban inhabitants across Middle East and North Africa (Mena) focusing on UAE, Saudi Arabia and Egypt.

The report reveals that priority innovations span connected buildings, smart travel and services powered by artificial intelligence (AI).

Smart and connected buildings

The majority (62 per cent) of respondents in Middle East and North Africa identified smart and connected buildings and homes as the highest priority innovation, followed by smart travel services (61 per cent).

Technological advancements widely generate more optimism than worry and becoming less physically active is the top concern, followed by reduced human interaction and the loss of traditional jobs. AI and machine learning (58 per cent) are considered the most important technologies for future cities.

Public awareness of the need for climate action is high, and smart solutions to transform to clean and renewable energy (59 per cent) emerged at the top of the list of anticipated outcomes across the Mena region. In the UAE and Saudi Arabia, 85 per cent of respondents believe their cities are ‘maturing’ or ‘mature enough’.

Mena residents would also like to see digitisation make their living environments, workplaces, and payment experiences, more efficient. Digital access to services like banking, utilities, and transportation top (59 per cent) the list of aspects that would enhance their daily living experience in a city. This is followed by strong privacy and secure personal data (58 per cent) and a single digital platform (super-app) that integrates all services and information (53 per cent).

The research also highlighted the importance of partnerships as being crucial for urban innovation. Over the past year Mastercard has embarked on several initiatives with government entities, including the development of urban mobility.

It is involved in the Riyadh Metro project, and also partnered with the Greater Amman Municipality to roll out Jordan’s first transit payment ecosystem, paving the way for seamless digital payments across the public transport network.

In Dubai, alongside the UAE government, Mastercard is establishing a global Centre for Advanced AI and Cyber Technology to accelerate generative AI research. Mastercard partnered with the Administrative Capital for Urban Development to build the efficient digital infrastructure that will enable the New Administrative Capital to become Egypt’s first cashless city.

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Quelle/Source: Smart Cities World, 03.04.2024

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