The 10th edition of the World Government Summit (WGS) will focus on 6 important themes, all aiming to improve lives for people around the world, according to a senior UAE official.

Speaking at a press conference held on Sunday, Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Happiness and Wellbeing, Vice Chair of the World Government Summit Organisation, said that the six pillars of this year’s WGS are:

“There are other events held on the sidelines like ministerial meetings and 7 awards. We hope that the WGS continues to be a forum for all governments of the world to put in place strategies to improve the lives of people around the world,” she said.

Omar Sultan Al Olama, Minister of State for Artificial Intelligence, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, Managing Director of the World Government Summit said that for the last 10 years, the WGS has brought together decision makers and leaders to try to foresee what the needs of the future are and that some countries come to listen, and others come to do.

“In 2018, we heard Dr Tedros, the secretary general of the world health organisation, speak about the pandemic. The next year, we created a forum to discuss how countries eradicate and overcome plagues and pandemics that might spread. This has played a role in the UAE's effort in overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic,” he said.

He said that every speech held during the WGS sessions over the last 10 years is translated into an action plan for the UAE and for any other country that chooses to embrace it. “We also have a lot of programs to try to ensure that the knowledge transfer happens to all governments regardless of their challenges,” he said.

Speaking at the conference, Mattar Al Tayer, Commissioner General for Infrastructure, Urban Planning and Well-Being Pillar - Director General, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors of the Roads and Transport Authority, Dubai spoke about an item on his WGS agenda: self-driven cars and the challenges that face the sector when it comes to implementing them.

“There are international challenges when it comes to the future of transportation such as the infrastructure, updating maps, traffic lights, legislations, safety and people’s acceptance for self-driven cars as well as the technology related to cameras,” he said.

Locally, he said that the effect of humidity and high temperatures on the transportation systems for self-driven cars are also challenges but that this year, 10 self-driven cruise cabs will be launched in Dubai. “We will be the first city in the world, outside the US to operate them,” he said.

As the UAE is currently planning the COP28 event later this year, its Director General Majid Al-Suwaidi said that WGS is an important contributor towards the success of the event. “It is an important platform that brings governments and stakeholders together to have conversations about climate change and how to address the challenges that we face. We believe that WGS is an important venue to deliver progress,” he said.

Speaking about the energy sector’s agenda for the WGS, Saeed Mohammed Al Tayer, MD & CEO of Dewa, said it’s all about clean energy. “All future projects in the country are based on clean energy. The Mohammed bin Rashid Solar Park is the largest single-site solar park in the world, with a planned capacity of 5,000 MW by 2030. So far, we have 2027 MW – this means that 14 per cent of the energy in Dubai is solar,” he said, adding that the challenge in the GCC is energy storage. He said that Dewa will share what it offers to COP28, as well as the various clean and renewable energy projects it implements continuously, as part of the transition towards clean energy reaching net-zero by 2050.

Dawoud Al Hajri, Director General of Dubai Municipality, spoke about sustainability being at the core of their strategy. “We aim to have a waste-free city in Dubai,” he said, citing examples such as recycling water for irrigation and planting 180,000 trees annually.

“One of the main themes of the World Government Summit 2023 is the sustainability of cities, which highlights the importance of providing resources towards rapid urbanisation. This aligns with the plans of Dubai Municipality in designing smart cities based on a human-centred approach, and environment friendly building through the 3D printing technology,” he said.

Eng. Omar Al Mahmoud, CEO ICTFUND, TDRA said that the WGS looks toward the future and bridges gaps between the challenges and finding opportunities.


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