The world is facing substantial challenges related to population growth and the derived pressure on environment, energy, and other natural resources. Cities contribute to these problems due to the ever-increasing urbanization. As a solution, smart cities are managed and optimized across traditional boundaries and through the exchange of information between physical objects, citizens, and stakeholders. However, there are barriers in the development of smart cities that should be overcome in order to meet these challenges through smart cities. The main barriers identified in this work are poor private-public participation, utilization of fossil fuels, lack of attention to the environment, insufficient internet technology (IT) infrastructure, and old technology throughout the cities. To overcome these barriers, policies must be implemented to improve private-public participation by encouraging public investments and a wider adoption of electrical vehicles that may act as storage device and provide ancillary services to the electricity grid; reduce the use of private cars; strengthen IT infrastructure, deployment of smart technology to allow residents to monitor and control their energy consumption, installation of roof-top solar panels, and better mobility and efficient public services supported by smart technologies such as IoT (Internet of Things) and information and communication technology (ICT) to enhance the interconnection among smart city systems.