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World Economic Forum on the Middle East to Return to Jordan for Its Fifth Year


Geneva, Switzerland – Representatives of the World Economic Forum and King Abdullah II Fund for Development signed in Geneva today a memorandum of understanding that marks the official start of preparations for the World Economic Forum on the Middle East, to be held at the Dead Sea, Jordan, from 15 to 17 May 2009. More than 1,200 participants drawn from the highest level of government and business worldwide are expected to take part in the meeting. The memorandum of understanding was signed by Bassem Awadallah, Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the King Abdullah II Fund for Development, and André Schneider, Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer of the World Economic Forum.

With significant accumulation of wealth and marked openness to the world, the Middle East is increasingly seen as a key international partner in addressing global challenges. The 2009 World Economic Forum on the Middle East will engage leaders in dialogue to identify key regional dynamics and international trends that will define the region and its global position in the next decade. Through a variety of formats, the meeting will look at the Middle East’s role in shaping the new global economic order, address the changing regional geopolitical and security landscape, as well as focus on the region’s growing social vigour and the question of youth. Particular attention will be paid to the issues of food security, resource management and systemic financial risks.

“It is a great pleasure to come back to the Dead Sea, Jordan, once again to convene key leaders, thinkers and actors from across the region and around the world. Here, in 2003, the Forum relaunched its strong presence in the Middle East and our participants of this strategic gathering in the Middle East will be happy to return to what many see as one of the natural homes of this meeting. It is a tribute to the unfaltering support, leadership and vision of His Majesty King Abdullah II, which has allowed us to create this unrivalled Forum in the Middle East. We are looking forward to yet another gathering of highest-quality debate and many constructive outcomes at the Dead Sea next year,” said Schneider.

“Jordan looks forward to hosting the meeting for the fifth time, under the Royal patronage of His Majesty King Abdullah II Ibn Al Hussein. The upcoming meeting will offer a fresh outlook at new economic opportunities, as well as the developing and enduring political challenges in the Middle East,“ said Awadallah. ”It will be an opportunity to engage youth from the region and recognize a number of young men and women from the Arab world for their commitment and dedication by awarding them the King Abdullah II Award for Excellence and Innovation. The award was launched at the 2007 World Economic Forum on the Middle East at the Dead Sea"

Note to the Media – media accreditation will start in February 2009. Please visit for regular updates on the meeting.

About the King Abdullah II Fund for Development - The King Abdullah II Fund for Development (KAFD) was established in 2001 as a non-governmental organization working to provide all segments of the Jordanian community, particularly the underprivileged, with new and innovative economic opportunities that can improve living standards. (

Incorporated as a foundation in 1971, and based in Geneva, Switzerland, the World Economic Forum is impartial and not-for-profit; it is tied to no political, partisan or national interests (


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