Smart mobility in GCC cities

Fast track to the future


Executive summary

Cities in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) currently face challenges of urban congestion, traffic safety, and accessibility for underserved populations. Fortunately, radical disruption in the global transportation industry is providing them with an opportunity to catch up and even leapfrog other urban areas. The emergence of smart mobility — the use of technology to create urban transportation networks that are far more efficient, sustainable, and data-enabled — can improve residents’ quality of life and promote economic growth. Governments can use smart mobility to reduce traffic congestion, increase road safety, improve the environment, and make transportation more accessible and affordable.

Several GCC governments have already incorporated smart mobility into their urban planning for cities in development, as have cities in other countries. Most other city authorities in the GCC are further behind in assessing the options. However, all cities in the region need to understand the scope of the technology available and use a structured, holistic, and realistic agenda to assess and implement it.

Rather than just investing in roads and public transit systems, governments need to consider all aspects of smart mobility, including the user experience, transportation modes currently in use, more advanced solutions still in development, data and technology, infrastructure, and governance and regulation.

Once they have such a comprehensive approach as a foundation, governments need a three-part implementation framework:

  • Establish a policy and strategy for smart mobility
  • Develop an institutional and regulatory framework
  • Collaborate through partnerships and platforms

Although still in the early stages of development, smart mobility has already changed the way people, goods, and services move. Used correctly, it can reshape cities and transform society.

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Worldwide, the transportation sector is going through the most significant revolution since the development of cars more than a century ago. Even more than other parts of the world, GCC cities are ripe for the benefits of smart mobility. Capitalizing on these technologies requires a structured approach, with the rewards more than justifying the effort.

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Marwan Bejjani

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Per-Ola Karlsson

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Dr. Ulrich Kögler

Partner, Strategy& Middle East

Mark Haddad

Principal, Strategy& Middle East

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