What is the World Energy Congress?

We take a look at the upcoming high-profile energy event taking place in Abu Dhabi for the first time


Charging station for electric vehicles displayed at a press conference today, announcing incentives to promote electric vehicles in Dubai.

(Photo by Reem Mohammed/The National)

Reporter: LeAnne Graves
Section: NA

Around 12 international oil companies including BP, Total, Eni as well as policy makers and experts are expected to be in Abu Dhabi for the World Energy Congress next week. We take a look at this addition to the UAE capital's energy calendar and what to expect.

What is the World Energy Congress? 

The World Energy Congress is a triennial event organised by the London-based World Energy Council, which will take place in the Arabian Gulf for the first time from September 9 to 12, and is expected to draw a crowd of investors and thought leaders. The last such congress took place in Istanbul, Turkey in 2016.

Will it be focussed on oil?

No, the Congress is set to look into a future beyond hydrocarbons, and will explore themes in sustainability, notably renewables, nuclear and even electric vehicles.

What makes the Congress unique?

The Congress, which took place for the first time in 1924 in London has been associated with several distinguished contributors to the modern world’s energy industry, most notably Albert Einstein, who spoke at the summit in Berlin in 1930.

How many are expected to attend? 

Around 15,000 people are expected to attend this year's Congress, including 70 ministers and 500 chief executives from 150 countries. Opec as well as non-member producers led by Russia are also set to meet for a technical committee meeting towards the end of the four-day event on September 12.

What are some of the key highlights? 

Day one will also open with ministerial speakers including the UAE energy minister Suhail Al Mazrouei, Saudi Arabia’s state minister of energy affairs Abdulaziz bin Salman Al Saud as well as UAE state minister and head of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, Dr Sultan Al Jaber.

Heads of Total and Eni, Patrick Pouyanne and Claudio Descalzi, both major upstream players with an interest in adopting more sustainable energy are also set to talk about their pivot.

Where is the Congress headed next? 

Moscow. The four-day event will wrap up with concluding remarks from Russian energy minister Alexander Novak, whose country will host the next edition of the congress in 2022.