Robert De Niro to attend World Government Summit in Dubai

The actor will take part in discussions about the effects of climate change on human prosperity

Robert De Niro visited Dubai in 2016 to promote the Caribbean tourism sector. Pawan Singh / The National
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American actor Robert De Niro will take part in a Climate Change Forum held at the World Government Summit in Dubai next week.

On Tuesday, Dr Thani Al Zeyoudi, Minister of Climate Change and Environment, announced he was glad to be welcoming his friend to the emirate.

The actor is expected to take part in discussions about the effects of climate change on human prosperity.

In a video shared by the minister, De Niro delivered a message between scenes from natural disasters. "From floods, to droughts, to hurricanes, complete disasters, the time is now to stand together to help those who need it most," he said.

"Join us at the World Government Summit. Climate action now."

The summit will be held between February 11 and 13 and is expected to draw leaders of more than two dozen countries. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will give the keynote speech.

The summit will focus on forecasting the future for governments and humanity’s quality of life with forums on climate change, artificial intelligence, youth, happiness and space exploration.

"Climate change is one of the most important difficulties facing humanity," Dr Al Zeyoudi said in January. "It impacts us on a daily basis. Hurricanes are growing in power and becoming more damaging to lives, resources and infrastructure."

Over the past 20 years, natural disasters have caused losses worth around $2 trillion. "It's a massive number," he said. "We will look at solutions to the impact of climate change and preparing for disasters with more agile infrastructure."

The trip will not be De Niro's first to Dubai. In October 2016, he spoke at the Palazzo Versace Hotel as part of a delegation at an invitation-only event designed to boost tourism in Antigua and Barbuda.

There he also gave his opinion about about then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump claiming he would love to "punch him in the face".

The 74-year-old actor and producer is passionate about the Caribbean tourism industry, and has invested $250 million into a resort project in Barbuda. He is partnered with Australian businessman James Packer.

De Niro is an old hand when it comes to business, his other notable capital ventures have included co-founding the film studio TriBeCa Productions, the Tribeca Film Festival and the restaurants Nobu and TriBeCa Grill.