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Dubai can become global testbed for the future, says Mohammad Al Gergawi

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His Excellency Mohammad Abdullah Al Gergawi. Minister of Cabinet Affairs, Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees and Managing Director of Dubai Future Foundation, and Dr. Michio Kaku, a theoretical physicist and futurist, discussed future predictions of the world during the first day of the Dubai Future Forum.

During a panel titled ‘Why Should We Focus on the Future?’ at the Museum of the Future, HE Mohammad Al Gergawi stressed the important role governments play in designing and foreseeing the future, emphasizing that the UAE has become a pioneer in this field through the vision of its leadership.

“Convening the Dubai Future Forum is a milestone in our journey to cultivate ideas and design future visions and policies to keep pace with upcoming generational shifts in the future,” he said.  “The vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is to make Dubai a global laboratory that is open to innovation. Today the Museum of the Future represents a global beacon of culture, science and knowledge. It serves as a global incubator for skilled talent and a center for all to imagine, design and execute the future.”

HE added: “We are a young nation driven by a limitless ambition which took us from the desert to Mars. We have a unique development model that we want to share it with the world and use it to drive positive change for humanity. This model allowed us to build a society where 200 nationalities live and work together in peace and harmony.”

His Excellency stressed: “We are living in the early moments of a future that is unfolding, bringing about huge changes. A catalyst of this fast-paced thrust to the future is unprecedented technological development. Coping with this pace will be complex and challenging.”

Future Scenarios

Dr. Michio Kaku highlighted some expected future scenarios for the next 50 years. “Computers will disappear and will be replaced by chips embedded in our brains. We will communicate telepathically – and we will be able to record our memories and emotions. Television will disappear, too, and the internet will be neurologically wired. We’ll be using quantum computers faster and more powerful than anything we’ve seen before.”

Dr. Kaku said the world should brace itself for “major transformations” in energy, healthcare, and entertainment. We will be able to treat diseases like Parkinson’s and cancer at the molecular level, curing cancer as easily as we treat the common cold.

“Today’s cities are where jobs are created and this compounds urbanization,” he said. “But as long as economic activity is concentrated in a small area, populations will rise in densely crowded areas. There are many solutions to this: one is to go underground. The other is to redistribute jobs across a larger space.”

He added: “In upcoming sessions of the Dubai Future Forum, we must focus on future sources of wealth such as science, innovation, and technology in order to ensure the best future for humanity.”

The Dubai Future Forum is held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, Chairman of the Executive Council and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Dubai Future Foundation. It is running from 11-12 October at the Museum of the Future, with the participation of more than 45 international institutions and over 400 experts who aim to design the future.