The Fortune Global Forum will come to Abu Dhabi in November, the first time the conference will be hosted in the Middle East.
A redirection of global energy flows, the critical challenge of climate change, and the remaking of geopolitical alliances across the Middle East has recently shifted the world’s attention to the Gulf region.
And there is no better driver of this momentum than Abu Dhabi, a powerful player in the global economy, a leader in sustainable development, and a leading destination for trade, tourism and global convening.
The event, which will have the theme of “A New Era for Business”, will take place from Nov. 27-29, His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa, chairman of the Abu Dhabi Department of Economic Development, and Alan Murray, chief executive officer of Fortune, announced at Tuesday event in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates.
“Abu Dhabi’s growing role as a business, economic and cultural hub make it an ideal location for the 2023 Fortune Global Forum. The world is on the cusp of a new era of globalization, requiring Fortune 500 companies to rethink their global footprints,” Murray said.
Gulf region focus
The UAE has increased its role as a major player in the global economy in recent years, and sits at an important global crossroads for trade and commerce as a key gateway between the West, the Middle East, Africa and South Asia.
Abu Dhabi itself has been a long-time leader on climate action and sustainability. The Emirate has invested billions of dollars in developing a green and blue hydrogen supply chain and it has committed to becoming the world’s best in environmental conservation.
And of course, later this year, the UAE will host COP28, the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference, further emphasizing the urgency on climate change felt in the region.
Abu Dhabi is also rapidly becoming a hub for tech companies and innovation across a wide range of industries, from agriculture and energy to fintech and healthcare. And it is home to the world’s first university dedicated to the study of A.I.: the Mohamed bin Zayed University of Artificial Intelligence.
‘A New Era for Business’
The business world has clearly entered one of its most exciting—yet challenging—periods in recent history.
New technologies are now solving problems great and small—from climate risk to health crises—but they also pose new threats.
As this has come to pass, CEOs and their companies have come to realize their pivotal role in driving positive societal change, but also that a great responsibility that accompanies such power.
These new opportunities and threats—and Abu Dhabi’s central role in addressing them—have inspired the 2023 theme for the Fortune Global Forum: “A New Era for Business.”
“There is a lot of uncertainty around inflation, and recession, and supply chain bottlenecks. We hear about China’s anticipated economy resurgence, tech industry 4.0, zero carbon targets in 2050, geopolitical issues. All of these subjects are debated in almost every meeting, every event, and every gathering we have in Abu Dhabi, the UAE and globally,” His Excellency Mohammed Ali Al Shorafa said at the announcement.
“The world today requires joint action to address concerns around trade imbalances, ESG, and food security, among other elements. The world we live in today demands constant assessment and reassessment, the ability to preempt the various scenarios and swiftly adopt multilateral trading and investment partners.”
As the U.S. aims to aid in building diplomatic bridges, Fortune’s mission of making business better seeks to build global economic bridges, and bridges between businesses and their stakeholders. To this end, in recent years Fortune has been exploring expanding its footprint in the Middle East.
Roughly this time last year, Fortune partnered with digital content house Majarra on the launch of Fortune Arabia, bringing Fortune’s world-class business reporting and analysis to an Arabic-speaking audience for the first time.
The first Fortune Global Forum in the Middle East is one more big step along that path.
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