UAE, Gulf and Middle East officials to discuss stability, climate and future at Davos 2023

Ministers from the region to have key roles at World Economic Forum annual meeting

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The programme at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, which begins on Monday evening with an awards ceremony, features a number of officials from countries from the Middle East and North Africa, including the UAE, discussing issues including geopolitics, opportunities in space and climate action.

On Wednesday, “Future by Design” is described as a discussion about “what lessons learnt could be deployed globally in the age of exponential change?” and includes three ministers from the UAE.

“From the space programme to climate-smart technology, the UAE has a track record of design thinking in governance,” the forum said.

Taking part are Ohood Al Roumi, Minister of State for Governmental Development and Future, Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for Digital Economy, AI and Remote Working System and Sarah Al Amiri, Minister of State for Public Education and Future Technology.

Other Emirati ministers and officials in Davos include Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, Abdulla bin Touq, Minister of Economy, DP World chairman and chief executive Sultan bin Sulayem and Khaldoon Al Mubarak, managing director and group chief executive of Mubadala Investment Company.

The annual meeting will also include highlighting a road map of the key priorities and actions ahead of the Cop28 climate summit, to be held in the UAE at the end of November.

“We will be putting a lot of emphasis on taking a global view to make sure that after Cop27 [was] hosted in Egypt … how do we make sure that we really take a global view, and around that system of climate, nature and energy,” said Mirek Dusek, managing director at the World Economic Forum.

A delegation from Saudi Arabia will be led in Davos by Prince Faisal bin Farhan, Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Princess Reema bint Bandar, ambassador to the US, will also be attending the event.

The kingdom’s delegation includes Adel Al Jubeir, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs and Climate Affairs Envoy, Khalid Al Falih, Minister of Investment and Mohammed Al Jadaan, Minister of Finance.

Abdullah AlSwaha, Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Bandar Alkhorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, Faisal Alibrahim, Minister of Economy and Planning and Fahd Al Rasheed, chief executive of the Royal Commission for Riyadh City, will also be in Davos.

Priorities include highlighting progress under Saudi Vision 2030 economic transformation programme, launched in 2016 by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is also the country's Prime Minister.

Trade and energy security on the agenda

On Tuesday, Qatar Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Al Thani and Prince Faisal will be discussing the nexus of energy and politics alongside the International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva, US Senator Chris Coons and Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto.

The role of philanthropy in climate efforts will be in focus when Rania Al Mashat, Egypt’s Minister of International Co-operation, John Kerry, US climate enjoy, Mark Carney, UN Special Envoy for Climate Action and Finance, Badr Jafar, chief executive of the UAE’s Crescent Enterprises, and Desmond Kuek, chief executive of Temasek Trust, take part in a discussion on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, a session focused on “Saudi Arabia’s Transformation in a Changing Global Context” will include Princess Reema, Mr Al Jadaan, Mr Alkhorayef and Mr AlSwaha.

Later that day, Aziz Akhannouch, Head of the Government of Morocco, is scheduled to give a special address.

Also on Wednesday, Saudi Arabia’s Prince Faisal will join the foreign minister from Iraq, Fuad Hussein, Mohamad Al Ississ, Jordan's Minister of Finance, UN’s Yemen envoy Hans Grundberg and Dutch Defence Minister Kajsa Ollongren for a discussion on stability in the Mena region.

The Crystal Awards ceremony on Monday night, which will honour artist Maya Lin, soprano and arts and health advocate Renee Fleming and actors and humanitarians Idris Elba and Sabrina Dhowre Elba, will also have a Mena focus.

Monday’s opening concert is a performance of I Sea You, “a powerful cultural message of unity and collaboration” highlighting the protection and preservation of the coral reefs of the northern Red Sea.

It features Egyptian soprano Fatma Said, German pianist Tim Allhoff, Jordanian virtuoso Farah Siraj, guitarist Andreas Arnold and Israel’s Noa and Gil Dor.

Also performing are oud player Joseph Tawadros and percussionist James Tawadros.

The concert also includes footage of the Red Sea coral reefs filmed by environmentalist and deep-sea diver Nouf Alosaimi.

Updated: January 17, 2023, 5:22 AM