World Government Summit: Global leaders gather in Dubai - Day 2, as it happened

Thousands of high-level officials, including presidents, ministers and Nobel Laureates come together for second day of the seventh annual event

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Global leaders in government and public policy are gathering in Dubai for the World Government Summit, a forum dedicated to "shaping the future of governments".

In total, more than 4,000 decision-makers from 140 countries – including heads of state, ministers and business leaders – will help to shape the future of the planet at the event at Madinat Jumeirah this week.

Here you will find all the latest news from The National's reporters on the ground.

All times UTC+4


08:00 Follow Tuesday's live coverage

Join us here to follow live coverage for Day 3 of the the World Government Summit in Dubai on Tuesday.


18:30 Thank you for following

That's it for our live updates for today. Stay with us at for more news, including the full report on Sheikh Hamdan's presentation which you can read here.

Join us again tomorrow for more updates.


17:32 Arab Youth pitch at World Government Summit

A young Arab entrepreneur pitches his idea for solving problems of youth unemployment. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Young Arab entrepreneurs are pitching their ideas to solve the challenges of unemployment at the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Pitches, which range from finding the riht scholarship to selling artisan products online, are put to a panel of experts who give feedback and interrogate the plans.


16:22 Competitiveness of cities is about attracting brains

The future of competition between cities will be not about infrastructure, but about attracting brains, the Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed said on Monday.

Dubai is a model of one of these cities, where through coexistence and tolerance more than 220 nationalities live in peace.

Sheikh Hamdan was speaking to the audience by hologram, but after speaking he appeared from the side of the stage, greeting and joking with the audience.


16:10 The future of cities is safer, cleaner and more connected

Attendees at the World Government Summit watch Crown Prince of Dubai Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed speak. Chris Whiteoak / The National

AI and machine learning will make cities safer, cleaner and more connected, Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai said via hologram on Monday.

While laying out a futuristic vision of the future of cities, Sheikh Hamdan said each person will be both a producer and consumer of energy, with solar panels and windows capturing and storing energy.

But ultimately the future of cities rely on innovation and ideas, the Dubai Crown Prince said.

“As we talk about the future of cities, we must remember that cities are driven by global economic developments and the harmonisation of cultures and ideas,” he said.

Two screens either side of him illustrated his points, using graphics, visualisations and videos to demonstrate the future of the metropolis.


15:55 Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed addresses summit via hologram

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed delivers a statement via hologram at the World Government Summit. Screengrab

Flanked by two screens narrating his speech, a hologram of Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, the Crown Prince of Dubai, delivered a statement on the seven shifts shaping future cities.

The Crown Prince of Dubai said his goal is to put Dubai 10 years ahead of other cities.

Automation will reduce traffic in Dubai by 40 per cent, Sheikh Hamdan said, adding that future cities will ensure 80 per cent of people's needs will be within 20 minutes of their home.


15:20 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid experiences 'future of transport'

The Ruler of Dubai and Vice President of the UAE, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid experienced what has been billed as the future of transport at the World Economic Forum on Monday.

The system of cable car-like Sky Pods could transport you between Abu Dhabi and Dubai within 15 minutes, using five times less energy than an electric car.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, Vice President and Ruler of Dubai, reviews two models of the Sky Pods at the World Government Summit. 


15:00 UAE signs MoUs with Costa Rica, Australia and South Korea

The UAE signed agreements with three countries on the sidelines of the World Government Summit.


13:40 Guy Ryder: We must not let technology control labour

Director General of the ILO Guy Ryder speaks at the World Government Summit in Dubai. Victor Besa / The National

Humans must remain in control of technology, not the other way round, the Director General of the ILO Guy Ryder warned on Monday.

He also said the UAE has set an example towards providing a future of work that we want and the world can learn from that example.

Speaking in the presence of the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, at the World Government Summit, he said:

"Here in Dubai, here in the Emirates, we have the example of a country which has set a course for the future.

"Where a vision of the future that people want is being set out and pursued and this is something that we wish to congratulate the Emirates upon.

"We can learn from that example, we can draw from that example and we hope in return that the international community and the ILO can offer ideas and perspectives for the future as well."

He said the world must re-examine fiscal policies, the social contract and trade relationships to ensure that everyone is able to work with dignity.

He called for "action to move to a future of work that we as a future of work want, not one put upon us."

Humans should be put in charge of technology, giving "each one the dignity that goes with decent work."


VR tree simulation leaves attendees speechless


13:22 Addressing changing labour trends

The UAE's Minister for Happiness and Wellbeing is an example of a policy addressing the changing nature of work, the Director General of the International Labour Organisation, Guy Ryder, said on Monday.

"We meet after all in a country that has a minister for happiness and wellbeing," Mr Ryder said while discussing policy addressing changing labour trends. "I am encouraged in my belief that this is an approach that addresses head on the hard and pressing policy objectives of our moment," he said.

Mr Ryder also said there should be a significant change on the way women in the workforce are treated, both in participation and pay.

"The time has come for a truly transformative agenda for gender equality," he said.


13:00 The dangers of Robots and AI

Robot intuition could outstrip human intuition in some areas, a Nobel laureate said in Dubai.

Daniel Kahneman, an economist and psychologist notable for his work on decision-making, spoke about potential biases in automated intelligence technology.

Mr Kahneman, however, said setting boundaries on AI would be extremely difficult, both at an internal level within AI, but also at an intergovernmental level.

"No individual can acquire the kind of experience that robots will very quick acquire when you set them loose on a situation," he said, pointing out that robots draw on data from thousands of other robots, whereas humans only draw on their own experiences.


12:34 Leadership key to gender balance, UAE council leader says

Strong leadership is the key to gender balance, Mona Al Marri, the Vice President of the UAE's Gender Balance Council said on Monday.

The UAE, which has won awards for its efforts in gender balance, is a model for the region on how to change cultural preconceptions, Ms Al Marri's panel colleague, OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria, said.

Mr Gurria also questioned who was telling women they could not be engineers and said public policy should encourage women to study STEM subjects.



12:21 UK has approached Gulf countries on post-Brexit trade pact

The United Kingdom has approached the UAE and other Gulf countries on a post-Brexit trade deal, UAE Minister for Economy Sultan Al Mansouri said on Monday.

Mr Al Mansouri said Britain had approached members of the GCC for potential deals, but did not give further details.


12:08 Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid tours media centre

Journalists covering the World Government Summit received a surprise guest on Monday: Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid.


Spotted: Harrison Ford ahead of climate message

Harrison Ford speaks to the United Nations General Assembly President María Fernanda Espinosa on Monday. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Film star Harrison Ford arrived at the World Government Summit, where he is expected to warn of the dire consequences of failing to act on climate change.

The 76-year-old star released a video on Thursday telling viewers that the world's leaders are running out of time to act.

“Fresh water shortages, higher greenhouse gas emissions, unprecedented fires, worldwide destruction. Is this the world we want?" he said in the video.


11:41 Some very special coconuts

A stack of coconuts offering compostable hydration to attendees at the World Government Summit. Chris Whiteoak / The National

Perfect for hydration and in keeping with the World Government Summit's branding, these coconuts are on display to quench the thirst of those in attendance at the summit.

And the best thing about them? The cup is compostable.


11:28 A network of connectivity

The founder and CEO of OneWeb, a satellite company, discussed his plans to launch a network of satellites to bring connectivity to the developing world.


11:18 UAE Economy Minister: US-China tensions are harmful to 'all of us'

Trade tensions between the United States and China are harmful to all of the world, the UAE's Minister of  Economy Sultan Al Mansouri said on Monday.

The UAE's economy minister also said it is important for the UAE not to take sides in the China-US trade tensions at the session at the World Government Summit.

Mr Al Mansouri was speaking at a session entitled "Outlook on Global Trade."


10:58 Jazzy atmosphere on Day 2

Away from the heights of the Plenary Sessions or the raucous debates of the side-bar discussions is, it seems, a slightly jazzy atmosphere on the second day of the World Government Summit in Dubai.


10:23 Chinese Science Minister: we need a more friendly market

China's Science Minister, Wang Zhigang, whose country is close to a company under fire for alleged cyber espionage, said the world needs to "join hands" and create rules to create a "more friendly market."


10:20 UN President: Greed and politics are stopping climate action

Countries must work out what they will do after the Paris Agreement comes to an end, the UN General Assembly President said on Monday.

"We have to agree on the next step after the Paris rule book. There are still things to do," she said.

Maria Fernando Espinosa Garces, the General Assembly President said greed and politics conflicting with nature are to blame for inaction on climate change.

She said it is incredible when personal profit is put ahead of the common good, and the political system must be brought in line with the cycle of nature.


10:11 UN President: Whole of society has a responsibility to solve climate change

Climate action is not just a problem for governments to solve, but for all of society, the President of the UN General Assembly said on Monday.

"We have to speak up, we have to put pressure on our own government, but it is a whole of society responsibility," Maria Fernando Espinosa Garces said at the World Government Summit.

She said that people have an individual responsibility to change their consumer habits and businesses also have a responsibility.


09:57 Nationalism and isolationism harming climate action

A recent increase in nationalism and a move away from mutual co-operation in trade has harmed action on climate change, the UN's President of the General Assembly said on Monday.


09:53 UN General Assembly President: Climate action and multilateralism go hand in hand

The President of the UN General Assembly Maria Fernando Espinosa Garces speaking at the World Government Summit in Dubai. Chris Whiteoak / The National

The President of the UN General Assembly, Maria Fernanda Espinosa Garces said that action on climate change and multilateralism can go hand in hand.

"Climate action and multilateralism are mutually dependent," she said at the World Government Summit.

"They can be harnessed to form a new dawn that is the future we deserve," she said, praising the action the UAE had taken on sustainability.


09:50 Developed countries have failed millions of people 

The recent rise of populism in the world is a result of failures by developed countries, Jose Angel Gurria, the OECD Secretary General said.

"What they have in common is a single message of hundreds of millions of people dissatisfied with what we have provided with them.

"Who do not feel this prosperity is being shared equally and that the opportunities for the level playing field is not there," he said.


09:47 Harrison Ford spotted at Dubai summit

Harrison Ford, an actor who delivered an apocalyptic warning on climate change, was spotted at the World Government summit where he is due to speak.


09:37 Angel Gurria: Trade war uncertainty is the killer of growth

The chief of the organisation for the world's developed countries said that uncertainties are the killer of growth in relation to US and China's trade war.

"Uncertainty is the killer of growth," Jose Angel Gurria said at the World Government Summit on Monday.

"If there is a clear solution that provides for a road map going forward then hopefully we can go back on the growth train," he said.


09:26 OECD Chief: Fourth Industrial Revolution has its upsides and downsides

The Secretary General of the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), Jose Angel Gurria said the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have its upsides and downsides.

Mr Gurria said many countries are at different stages of the latest labour revolution and some people will be left behind.

The OECD chief said that while some people will find that boring or repetitive jobs will no longer exist – ultimately a good thing – there will be some people who are left behind.

"In the UK you have cities where just a few miles apart you have six, eight, ten years of differences in life expectancy," he said, pointing to internal inequalities in developed countries.

"How do you deal with the responsibility to protect? ... How do you not create a situation where the state becomes a great provider of assistance," he said.


09:00 Day 2 highlights

Good morning and welcome to the second day of the World Government Summit in Dubai.

Some of the key events in the main hall today include:

09:00 - 09:20 The Future of Global Water Security and Sustainability

Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, Managing Director and CEO, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA)

09:20 - 09:40 The Future of The Economy in the Age of 4IR

Jose Angel Gurria, Secretary General, OECD

10:10 - 10:30 The Rise of The Dragon: China’s Success in Leading the World of Technology

Wang Zhigang, Special Envoy of President Xi Jinping, Minister of Science and Technology, China

12:50 - 13:10 A Conversation with Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson, Senior Vice President, Apple

13:35 - 13:50 Main Address by Guest Country

Epsy Campbell Barr, First Vice President of the Republic, Costa Rica

13:50 - 14:00 World Data Vizualisation Prize Edge Of Government Award

15:30 - 16:00 The Seven Trends Shaping Future Cities

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, UAE