OPM Museum of the Future
The Museum of the Future will play host to the Dubai Future Forum on November 27 and 28, 2023. Image Credit: Clint Egbert/Gulf News

Dubai: Beginning Monday, futurists from around the world will peer into the distant future, hoping to guide mankind “towards a brighter and more resilient future.”

Across 70 panel discussions, keynote speeches and workshops at the Dubai Future Forum on Monday and Tuesday, top speakers will bring insight from research and discuss future priorities.

Speakers will discuss the future of some of the most important sectors, such as space, sustainability, environment, energy, food, health, medicine, education, technology, artificial intelligence, digital economy, governance, and many others.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai, and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Dubai Future Foundation, said Dubai’s success in developing its forward-looking vision and future plans over the past years has been the result of its commitment to embracing the concept of future design across vital sectors.

“The world sees Dubai as the city of the future, and we echo this vision with a positive outlook that is founded on international cooperation, partnerships and the exchange of experiences and knowledge,” Sheikh Hamdan said.

Here’s a closer look at the Dubai Future Forum and what it aims to achieve.

What is the Dubai Future Forum?

The Dubai Future Forum is an annual event hosted by the Dubai Future Foundation at the Museum of the Future. It was launched in 2022 with a view to becoming the world’s largest gathering of futurists.

Where and when will the Dubai Future Forum be held?

It will be held at the Museum of the Future in Dubai on November 27 and 28, 2023.

At the two-day event, there will be plenary, technical and interactive sessions with a curated agenda.


speakers will take part in 70 sessions at the forum.

What is the Dubai Future Foundation?

In 2016, with an aim to be “the leading city of the future” the Dubai Future Foundation was brought to life, through the continued vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.

The Dubai Future Foundation (DFF) has built a cohesive innovation ecosystem to design Dubai’s future. It includes accelerator programmes, incubators, labs, regulatory sandboxes, and knowledge platforms – all with the purpose of challenging the status quo and designing a future-ready city powered by future leaders and disrupters.

According to a DFF spokesperson: “The world is facing several unprecedented challenges – from climate change to a rising population, to food security, to a pandemic. At the Dubai Future Foundation, we approach these challenges as opportunities.

“We explore how to understand and approach the future…. Simultaneously, we convene global dialogue events, such as our annual Dubai Future Forum - the world’s largest gathering of futurists. Partnerships are also created to enhance knowledge sharing and dissemination, among them is the UAE’s Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution (C4IR), launched in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, aiming to embed the latest foresight and research from expert groups into projects in the UAE.”

Key sessions and workshops at the Dubai Future Forum 2023
1. Keynote by Mohammad Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of DFF – Plenary Session (Nov 27)
2. The Energy Transition: Anticipation, Outlooks & Foresight - Plenary Session (Nov 27)
Featuring: Dr. Angela Wilkinson - Secretary General & Chief Executive Officer, World Energy Council
3. The Learnings from Space for the Region’s Next Generation - Plenary Session (Nov 27)
Featuring: Dr. Sultan Al Neyadi, Emirati Astronaut & Member of NASA’s SpaceX Crew & Mission 2023
4. What is Beyond AI? - Thematic Session (Nov 27)
5. Are We Ready for Peak Humanity? - Thematic Session (Nov 27)
6. Putting the Future of Food to the Taste Test - Activation (Nov 28)
This session presents a unique opportunity to safely taste delicious chocolate created in a lab, as well as eggs and milk produced completely animal-free.

What is the purpose of the Dubai Future Forum?

The Dubai Future Forum aims to create an international platform that amplifies insights from futurists and thought leaders from diverse sectors. It seeks to discuss future priorities, inspire and challenge assumptions, and build a long-lasting community by engaging on tomorrow’s most pressing issues. It also seeks to strengthen Dubai’s position as the global hub for futures leadership and action.

How many people are expected at the forum?

The Dubai Future Forum will host more than 2,500 participants from varied future-focused sectors and 150 speakers over 70 sessions.

There will be 100 participating top global institutions specialised in foresight and future studies with attendees from more than 95 countries.

Museum of the Future43-1676984307931
Four main themes will be discussed at the Future Forum. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

What are the forum’s key themes?

This year, there are four themes:

1. Regenerating Nature - Sessions will explore amplifying nature’s capacity to restore itself, having a positive impact on crucial environmental ecosystems and habitats.

2. Empowering Generations - This theme delves into offering solutions to humanity’s most complex and universal needs as the global population will continue to grow for another three generations.

3. Transcending Collaboration – This track explores how collaboration “with a twist” is the way forward for humanity, asking questions such as - What if our concerns about machine intelligence were unfounded? What if coexisting harmoniously with machines was a natural way of life?

4. Transforming Humanity – This stream explores the power to radically change ways of life by replacing the legacy models that countries, communities and individuals live by.

Who’s participating at the forum?

Ministers and government top officials, CEOs of top global companies, shapers of the future from different sectors, representatives of international and future organisations, investors and technology leads, policymakers, and academics from across the world will be taking part in the forum.

Who are the top speakers for the forum this year?

Some of the top speakers coming from overseas include: Dr. Angela Wilkinson from the World Energy Council; Dr. Mary Lou Jepesen from the Openwater Foundation; Dr. Paul Salem from the Middle East Institute; Professor Pascal Fung from the Hong Kong University of Technology; Nourhan Badr El Din from UNICEF; Alisha Bhagat from the Forum For the Future; Professor Hoda Al Khuzaimi from the Emaratsec; Dr. Kais Hammami from the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization; Melanie Subin from the Future Today Institute; Dr. Sophie Howe, Future Generations Commissioner for Wales; James Pomeroy from HSBC; and Alice Ruhweza of WWF, among others.

Ministers and government officials from the UAE will also participate in the event, including Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi, Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of the Dubai Future Foundation; Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi, Minister of State for Government Development and the Future; and Ambassador Majid Al Suwaidi, Director General of COP28; in addition to one of the first Emirati astronauts, Sultan Al Neyadi and the astronauts from the entire NASA SpaceX Crew-6 2023 mission.

What are the key messages for the forum?

The Dubai Future Forum provides an international platform to share foresight that will shape the future of humanity in vital sectors such as energy, food, machine intelligence, digital economy, space, biomedicine, regenerating nature and sustainability and new social systems.

The forum builds a long-lasting community by engaging on tomorrow’s most pressing issues. It cements Dubai’s position as the global hub for future leadership and action.

The forum inspires the creation of new future-oriented sectors such as human-machine collaboration, nature restoration and new social systems, as well as creating new business opportunities.

The Dubai Future Forum supports the UAE’s transition to a knowledge-based economy.

What were the main events at last year’s Dubai Future Forum?

The 2022 inaugural event brought together more than 400 experts, 70 speakers, 1,000 attendees and 45 leading institutions.

The event provided a unique and diversified networking opportunity; bringing together the world’s brightest minds and inspiring futurists to engage in person, share knowledge and exchange latest updates on their work and research.

The Dubai Foresight Principles report was issued as a valuable outcome of the 2022 Future Forum, highlighting Dubai’s 8 principles to foster forward-thinking and foresight strategies across vital sectors on a global level.

On the sidelines of the Forum, Dubai Future Foundation announced the establishment of the Global Future Society, headquartered at the Museum of the Future, in partnership with Association of Professional Futurists, The Millennium Project, World Futures Studies Federation (WFSF) and Public Sector Foresight Network (PSFN).

A 15-episode docuseries titled ‘What Does the Future Hold?’ has been produced by Dubai Future Foundation featuring the boldest insights and ideas of 30 prominent global experts who took part in the 2022 event.