This chapter focuses on the evolution of smart cities in developing countries. It starts by mapping the definitions and evolutions of smart cities concepts. Then it outlines the progress and current practices that emerging economies, in general, have achieved in their transition towards smart cities and the significant key challenges and takeaways that can be acquired so far. It analyses what could have been done better and what factors are still missing in smoothening this transition. Furthermore, it zooms into the smart city initiatives in Saudi Arabia to better extract lessons learned and the way to move forward. The analysis suggests measures that each actor can take: the public, private and international sides to further smoothen the transition to address the rising challenges of urbanization in emerging economies.