News Release

Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority Chooses Cisco for Advisory Services

Cisco to Support the Provision of Technical Advice and Guidance to SAGIA for a Smart Cities Operating Company
Mar 22, 2010


RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 22, 2010 - Cisco announced today that it has been appointed by the Saudi Arabian General Investment Authority (SAGIA) to support the provision of strategic advisory services for defining the business model and assessing the feasibility of a Smart Cities Operating Company. The company will initially support the building infrastructure and technology-enabled value-added services to four "economic cities" in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

SAGIA is the official investment-promotion agency of the government of the kingdom of Saudi Arabia, responsible for promoting direct investment into the kingdom. This announcement is a further milestone towards the development of Smart+Connected Communities in the kingdom.  

Highlights / Key Facts:

  • Cisco will support the provision of advisory services, comprising technical advice and guidance, to assist SAGIA in the creation of a Smart Cities Operating Company that will facilitate building infrastructure and technology-enabled value-added services. The advisory services will encompass project management, market and service analysis, financial model definition and feasibility analysis.
  • Cisco's Smart+Connected Communities initiative helps transform physical communities into connected communities that can help realize sustainable economic growth, deliver environmental sustainability through resource management and operational efficiencies, and enhance the quality of life. Cisco works with customers from idea generation to execution. It uses vertical solutions built on the network as an open integrated platform, along with a broad ecosystem of partners and innovative business models, to change the way communities are designed, built, managed and renewed. Constituents have access to information and services that enrich their lives, with technology solutions for homes, schools, transportation and more.
  • To date, SAGIA has launched four economic cities in Saudi Arabia -- King Abdullah Economic City in Rabigh; Prince Abdulaziz bin Musaid Economic City in Hail; Knowledge Economic City in Madinah, and the Jazen Economic City near Jizan City -- with a total investment of more than $60 billion USD. Cisco is providing advisory services for all these.
  • The proposed Smart Cities Operating Company will build and operate the infrastructure and also provide value-added services across all the economic cities. Cisco will assess and validate the potential services the company could provide and their financial feasibility. The feasibility study will recommend alternative business and financial models. The engagement will make a recommendation on the viability of the Smart Cities Operating Company, the services to be offered, the right mix of investors, and the key stakeholders and customers.

Executive Quotes:



"SAGIA's objective is to create the best business strategy for achieving the vision of making  the economic cities "smart cities". We are looking at ways to leverage economies of scale and synergies with a holistic approach that involves the four economic cities. Cisco's early involvement with the economic cities, as well as its continuous contributions to the activities of the Smart Cities Office and its industry leadership, made us certain it was the best choice for this  project."



"The Cisco team has worked closely with SAGIA for many months to create this opportunity. This is a very strategic win for Cisco in the region, as SAGIA is a key player in the development of the economic cities in the kingdom. It will give Cisco valuable insight into the technology, business, and financial models that will prevail in the kingdom for the economic cities, as well help to further position Cisco as a leader in the technology sector."

  • Yahya Hamidaddin, director of Smart Cities Development, SAGIA
  • Caspar Herzberg, senior director, Smart+Connected Communities, Cisco

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