Dubai-based NexGen Advisory has completed the first phase of a project that aims to transform Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh into a smart city.

The study started in early 2016 and was completed in the first quarter of the year, according to Ghazi Atallah, NexGen managing director.

It is understood that the study aimed to identify the strategy and vision, inventory of existing services, gap analysis, and overall strategy.

“We are very keen to work with the client in undertaking the next steps toward a smart city transformation,” Atallah told MEED. NexGen is the same firm that played a key advisory role in Dubai’s smart city initiative.

MEED reported in March last year that the Arriyadh Development Authority (ADA), client for the Riyadh Smart City project, was looking to prequalify firms for the project’s technology platform in early 2017.

Riyadh Governor Prince Faisal bin Bandar is the key advocate of Riyadh’s smart city transformation project.

It is understood that key public and private stakeholders in Saudi Arabia now agree that the new oil era should facilitate investments in information technology (IT) and innovation to achieve greater efficiencies.