Hundreds of ministers, business chiefs, decision-makers and experts from around the globe will gather in Dubai on Monday for the World Government Summit.
Over the course of three days, they will reflect on crucial themes such as how artificial intelligence is reshaping work, the challenge of feeding the world’s surging population and the urgency of tackling climate change.
The summit will feature a conversation between Elon Musk, the billionaire owner of Twitter and founder of SpaceX, and Mohammed Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs.
Mr Musk featured at the event in 2017 when he said governments may need to consider paying citizens a basic income to ease social inequality due to increasing automation of jobs.
Organisers have not yet said whether he will attend next week in person or remotely.
“The summit has become a point to exchange expertise, knowledge and ideas,” said Mr Al Gergawi, also chairman of the summit.
The fight against climate change will also feature prominently. The UAE hosts the Cop28 climate change conference in November and December, and Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of Cop28 will give a keynote address on Tuesday about the road ahead and how the UAE seeks to prioritise action.
Wavel Ramkalawan, President of Seychelles, will speak on the same day about a pressing topic to be addressed at Cop28 — how to deal with rising seas.
The summit will also hear from Pakistan’s Minister of Climate Change, Sherry Rehman; Khadeeja Naseem, Minister of State for Environment, Climate Change and Technology of Maldives; Razan Al Mubarak, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion, Cop28; and Yasmin Fouad, Minister of Environment for Egypt.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi; UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres; Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund; Dr Tedros Adhanhom Ghebreyesus, director general of the World Health Organisation; and "futurist" and pop star will.i.am are all expected to participate in the three-day event.
The event is also set to hear from Nick Clegg, a former deputy prime minister of the UK and now president of Meta. He will discuss artificial intelligence-augmented governance with Omar Al Olama, UAE Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Remote Work and Digital Applications.
The summit will also hear from the first Arab woman prime minister, Tunisia's Najla Bouden, in a talk with Ohood Al Roumi, UAE Minister of State for Government Development and Future.
Sheikh Saif bin Zayed, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, will speak; and Sheikh Saud bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, will present his vision for the emirate.
How governments can deal with uncertainty is an important part of the debate and attendees will hear from Nasser Al Khater, who was chief executive of the Fifa World Cup Qatar 2022, and Najeeb Al Ali, executive director of Expo 2020 Bureau, about staging major events amid challenging circumstances.
The summit will also host the economist Esther Duflo, an expert on how to tackle poverty, and chemist Dr Roger Kornberg, acclaimed for his work in the field of RNA.
In total, 250 ministers and more than 10,000 officials will attend 22 international sub-conferences, where more than 300 speakers will highlight the topics of sustainability, health care, economy, technology and establishing policies and strategies for governments.
World Government Summit takes place from February 13 to 15 at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai.