The King Abdullah development project will make Makkah the first smart city in the Kingdom, Makkah Gov. Prince Khaled said yesterday. Addressing a forum to discuss smart city applications in the Makkah province, the governor said: “There is no excuse for not making our cities smart.” He said there is a major project to revise plans for the cities of Makkah, Jeddah and Taif. “We should be pioneers in making our cities smart.” The function was attended by Jeddah Gov. Prince Mishaal bin Majed and Makkah Deputy Gov. Dr. Abdul Aziz Al-Khodairy. “We have all the factors to make this project successful. We have a great leadership that is ready to take initiatives. We have peace and security and we have enough funds,” he pointed out. “We need the will and determination to take decisions,” the governor said. He underscored the security and stability prevailing in the Kingdom, adding that it offers a conducive atmosphere for development projects. Prince Khaled said the smart city project was part of the Kingdom’s efforts to improve services to pilgrims who come for Haj and Umrah. “We want to carry out Haj and Umrah services in the best manner, in line with international standards,” the governor said. “We have to make pilgrims happy by extending the best possible services.” He said the two-year strategic development plan for the Makkah province was prepared with the participation of intellectuals and businessmen and women. “The plan centers on the Holy Kaaba because it was the reason for the presence of people in this part of the world,” he pointed out. He denounced suggestions that Muslims are a third-world community. “We are a progressive society. Our religion Islam calls for progress. We’ll not accept less than top position and there is nothing impossible,” the governor said. Prince Khaled referred to a report published by US Today that classified the Haj Terminal at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah as one of the 10 best terminals in the world. Speaking at the function, Al-Khodairy said the forum was organized to mobilize good ideas and thoughts for implementing the smart city project. “Officials and experts have been invited to take part in this discussion,” he pointed out.