Smart City Muscat

December 12, 2018

Digital transformation of people’s lifestyle is the ultimate result of a well-designed city being planned as a smart city. Implementing Smart Cities require a platform and data. Information about the characteristics of the city will be acquired through sensors, their aggregation, analytics and meaningful visualization. All these aspects are fundamentals of IoT and would also bring over a major change in the way Smart Cities are conceptualized, designed and implemented.

Smart city Project

The smart city concept is used to identify a large spectrum of heterogeneous solutions and city programs, involving different types of technologies and aiming to reach a very large set of different and well-defined goals.. The main driver for smart city development is technology Especially ICT, that permits to wire and link different actors in the urban arena and to supply digital services, by both private and public institutions. But also engineering and other technologies are important, especially aiming to improve logistic, mobility and environmental sustainability in the city

Muscat smart city envisions its smart future to reflect a connected, agile, happy community that is able to travel, to work, schooling, retail, and activity centers, safely and efficiently using multiple methods. Over a period of 3 to 4 years, residents of Oman and visitors to Oman will experience easier ways of getting around Muscat as a thrilling experience. They will be exposed to smart vehicles that are connected through apps that collect real-time data from sensors located on traffic lights, smart LED street lights in smart poles, and work zone traffic control devices along the roadway, and from our community members through their vehicles and smart devices.

These smart vehicles will be able to sense other roadway users and communicate between vehicles and smart devices to provide real-time information on optimal transit routes, construction zones, crash locations, and help identify congested corridors. This information will flow to a data centrally located on the Smart city Headquarter.  

Furthermore, Traffic Operations Center will be expanded to create a more robust, citywide Traffic Management Center.


Oman as a country to cop up with the current world situation  and to become as a topper of GCC countries needs up gradation and upliftment in several core areas, and focus to be made in line with the 2020 master plan of the country. The areas identified is as detailed below into 4 major domains where which sub classes will cover major parts of the peoples living in Oman. This will give an upliftment for coming forward for better Job prospects and to be self-sufficient in getting technological advancement.

To individuate the smart city crucial components;

To design the perimeter and scope of a specific smart city initiative, including the important elements and excluding the redundant ones

To link the smart city definition to clear aims and goals, not general but specific for the city with its own history, cultural and economic profile.

The smart city concept is implemented by achieving Artificial Intelligence., Digitalization,

Environmental sustainability, Technology, Life quality and well-being of humans living in the city

Characteristics Vision for smart city
Standard of Living Quality of Life, Improving/Enhancing Physical Infrastructure, Livable, World Class Infrastructure, Solving Core Infrastructure solutions, Heritage and Tourism Development
Urban Mobility Mobility, Improving/Enhancing Physical Infrastructure, Livable, world Class Infrastructure, Connectivity, Transit oriented, Solving Core Infrastructure, and Internet Connectivity
Environment and Safety Sustainable, Eco-friendly, Environment friendly, Protecting Ecology, Green, Clean, Healthy Environment, Ecological Integration, and  Pollution Reduction Measures
Governance Citizen Partnership, Participatory Decision Making, E-governance, Community Involvement, and ICT Enabled Government Services

Focused Applications based on Oman Smart City Characteristics





Objective of the project on a long term perspective

Oman intent to be a smart city using technologies, data and analytics to best deliver on the priorities of citizens of the country. From open data, open Wi-Fi, GPS enabled vehicles, integrated emergency and traffic control systems, automated sensors to our journey to smart transit. Fulfilling such creative thinking results in improving quality of life in the country.

Focus on Building physical Infrastructure for smart living

  • Urban Mobility & Smart Parking

Public Electric Vehicles (EV's) - Switch from diesel and petrol to electric and renewable sources of energy

EV charging facility at each parking bay, Smart Parking systems

E-surveillance for traffic discipline on roads and around the country

Smart bus-stops-providing interactive bus information system/ATM/Wi-Fi /vending machine

  • Sensor based Common Service Utility Duct with central server concept
  • Smart poles - Transformation of electric-Poles into Smart Poles with LEDs light having incident-driven-controllers; communication, infrastructure, Wi-Fi access points, air-quality sensors, noise-pollution sensors etc
  • Hierarchical Command and Control Centre for integrated Urban management
  • Public Safety/Security through CCTV-Surveillance
  • Roof top Solar panels on houses, offices, common areas, car parking shades and un utilized lands.
  • Alternative sources of energy for public space lighting - 50% of the Smart City’s energy requirement should come from solar energy
  • Integrated Municipal Solid Waste Management
  • Extending door to door  solid waste disposal for commercial/ institutional areas
  • Signature Giant Smart Digital Screen: Traffic Info/Social Messaging/Alerts/football/Advt.
  • Smart LED street lights project
  • Regional Transportation Data Network (regional mesh WiFi/ WiMax network)
  • Traffic Operations Management Network
  • Traffic signal controllers Signalized intersection optical detection
  • Roadside unit’s Smart parking meters
  • Smart parking garage lights Smart parking garage count sensors


E-governance as a tool for efficient services to citizens, re-engineer internal processes to bring it on a digital platform, improve transparency, accountability & citizen participation.

App based and telephonic citizen grievance redressal system – plus into existing system available on website - Single emergency help line

  • Application of ICT for delivering municipal services,
  • Use of smart devices and agents
  • Developing web-based/ mobile-based services
  • Opening up of government data through portal
  • Encouraging paperless communication
  • Biometric Attendance
  • Strengthening ICT Infrastructure
  • Virtualization of Licenses  and other registration activities

Smart Grid and Energy Management.

  • SCADA enablement
  • Power Management & demand forecasting, peak load management
  • Integrated distribution management system and outage management system
  • Automated Metering Infrastructure with Automated Demand Response
  • Billing and Energy Audit system
  • Network for smart meters and grid management
  • Net metering i.e. renewable energy integration
  • Energy Audit & Certification process

Smart Water and waste Management including up gradation of existing system through ICT intervention

  • 24x7 smart water supply - SCADA enablement
  • Automation/ Instrumentation
  • Web GIS software solutions & water billing software solution
  • Distributed generation & supply of grey water
  • Mini smart system for local waste water management


Methodology  for Smart City Concept

Smart Digital Hub- Smart Data Hub

The smart city is developed based on existing and to be developed Infrastructure and physical components where which data will be playing a key role. The data collected through the different channels as described in the block diagram will be transferred to a Digital Hub will form a “Smart Data Hub”. This hub will contain transactional, behavioral and sensor type data, and part of this data will be shared publicly based on the requirement of Govt, public or Individuals based on the proven Identity and purpose. This will enable to develop a better smart city.

Intelligent, Sensor-Based Infrastructure

  1. Video/optical sensors , Mobile sensors, low-cost after-market in-vehicle sensors, transit vehicles Apps, fire truck sensors, emergency response - ER Link (telemedicine), Connected Vehicles  etc
  2. Fixed sensors – traffic counts, Bluetooth, smart trash compactors, smart water meters, construction zones, parking meters/infrastructure, Internet of things  etc will be the main components which make the city smart

Goals, Objectives and performance measurement

  • Monitor response times for emergency vehicles
  • Track Emergency Vehicle Accidents for vehicles using signal priority
  • Monitor locations and frequency of accidents with first responder vehicles related to emergency calls
  • Utilize video detection at intersections to assess points
  • Deploy construction barricade sensors in construction zones
  • Maintain a database of private apps developed with smart information captured
  • Install smart LED street lights
  • Track fuel savings and emissions reduction efforts
  • Track travel times savings for the region
  • Monitor electric vehicle charging stations
  • Work with private developers on real time tracking of charging stations for public use

Mode / Methodology of Operation

  • Cloud Platform, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence will play a major role
  • Linkage to the City’s Data portal to ensure maximum integration with other sources of data.
  • Big Data Analytics and an AI Cloud platform will support functionality. These supports will provide data integration to and from external sources. This enables machine learning, based on user patterns and performs predictive analysis and simulation modeling to plan proactive actions

Accomplishment of smart city project

The implementation of the smart city Mission project at the City level will be done by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) constituted for that purpose. The team of SPV will plan, appraise, approve, release funds, implement, manage, operate, monitor and evaluate the Smart City development projects with the feedback from public, different level of peoples, officials who are directly or indirectly linked with the system. Smart city will have a SPV which will be headed by a full time CEO and have nominees of Government, all depts. and official from different ministries. A dedicated and substantial revenue stream is made available to the SPV so as to make it self-sustainable and could evolve its own credit worthiness for raising additional resources from the market. Government contribution for Smart City is used only to create infrastructure that has public benefit outcomes. The execution of projects may be done through joint ventures, subsidiaries, public-private partnership (PPP), etc suitably detailed with revenue streams.

The SPV will be a limited company at the city-level with equity shareholding pattern. The private sector or financial institutions could be considered for taking equity stake in the SPV, provided the shareholding pattern will be as per the govt norms from time to time.

Realized by multidisciplinary team including city specialists, urban planners and local service providers, the project begins by building up a local Smart City SPV Team with core group of local specialists to support the project planning and developing the local Smart City Model.

The main stages of the project could be as follows:

  • Analyzing the concept status and achievements, discussion of the options applicable to the  Smart City project 
  • A steering committee of residents, regional experts, and elected officials used to oversee the engagement process.
  • A dedicated website with supporting content, feedback system, interactive surveys, visual project maps etc. will be updated
  • Reviewing new options provided by latest technologies and social scientists who can help cities to unlock the potential where administrators didn’t look
  • Making local businesses aware of new smart options by presenting opportunities and engaging them into the discussion of their interests and possible contributions
  • Formulating the community objectives such as maximizing citizen benefits, enabling commercially successful services and mitigating climate change, supporting of the tourism and citizens, making the implementation of the city administration tasks more efficient and transparent to citizens while optimizing the costs
  • Discussing the issues with infrastructure providers to gain a better understanding of the often unspoken constraints that cities operate under
  • Prioritizing the list of objectives accordingly to its added value and expected costs
  • Formulating the plan of actions putting the main focus on experimenting and knowledge gains
  • Realizing the first small steps with minimum costs and maximum knowledge and outcomes at each step of the implementation

Running the Project

A permanent revenue generation source is required for the running of the smart city system. Detailed below the structure of Income generation system.

Permanent Revenue Sources

• Parking / EV-Charging User Charges

• Advertisements / Kiosk rental from public amenities centers

• Advertisements through Signature Giant Smart Digital Screen & Smart Poles

• Advertisements/User charges from public spaces

• Sponsorship from different shows at different parks, public spaces

• Share of transactions from user access through smart cards

• Electricity tariff revenue from solar rooftop at houses, offices, public spaces through contract


Significance/ Impact

A well designed smart city will make use of  Smart Computing technologies to make the critical infrastructure components and services of a city – which include city administration, education, healthcare, public safety, real estate, transportation, and utilities-more intelligent, interconnected, and efficient. There are numerous applications of IoT in a smart city design. A smart city will promote large development and efficient resource management. Research in Smart City Development is essential to come up with new models and design for building a smart city

Supporting Smart City Projects

Each identified project under this outcome uses data and connected technologies to achieve tangible, meaningful, and transformative change for the community. Listed below some of the major aspects

  • Artificially Intelligent Signal Controls
  • Real-Time Traveller Information
  • Commercial and Dangerous Goods Routing
  • Inclusive Mobility Review
  • Regional System Integrations

Progress Measurement:

  • Utilize available data to inform indicators, with adjustments made as new baseline data collection is available.
  • Potential indicators include
  • Average travel time and travel delay through the community (multiple corridors, multiple periods);
  • Number of intersections and parking lots with adaptive system controls;
  • Resident satisfaction with available traveller information sources;
  • Local economic growth, year over year;
  • Perceived ability for residents of all ages and abilities to navigate the community;
  • Volume of vehicle greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions;
  • Degree of coordination with regional transportation systems
  • Test and compare all technology options with supporting analytics to measure performance.

Real-Time Traveller Information

  • Data, tools, alerts, and other messaging to travelers, in support of traveller pre-trip or en-route planning.
  • Broadcast Services – Online, television, or social media display of real-time traffic camera feeds, weather, traffic flows, incident alerts, construction and maintenance activity, or congestion.
  • Dynamic Messaging - Digital signage along roadways or trails to provide information directly to travelers of all kinds (such as estimated time to next common destination, speed advisories, upcoming incidents or detours, or weather advisories).
  • Trip Planning Tools – Mobile application(s) that offer real-time trip-planning features using municipal data on local routes, current conditions, parking availability, transit arrival times, intermodal transfer points.

Article by Ferose Habeebulla