By Claudia Aoraha, Senior Reporter For Dailymail.Com
17:07 14 Jan 2024, updated 17:38 14 Jan 2024
- The theme this year is ‘Rebuilding Trust’ – and will be attended by 3,000 guests
- But when guests descend on Davos, they do more than just discuss global conflicts, the economy, and the evolution of technology
Once a year, global elites from all sectors attend a five-day conference in the snow-capped town of Davos, Switzerland – which is supplemented by caviar, champagne, and all types of debauchery after hard work is over.
The World Economic Forum 2024 is kicking off this week, with world leaders and business executives convening for discussions and events surrounding the most prominent issues of the day.
The theme this year is ‘Rebuilding Trust’ – and will be attended by 3,000 guests.
But when they descend on the small Alpine resort town of Davos, attendees do more than just discuss global conflicts, the economy, and the evolution of technology. They bond and build business bridges with one another at A-list soirees and parties.
CEOs and dignitaries mingle over caviar bumps, $1,000 bottles of champagne and luxurious parties that only the elite in the world are able to get an invite to.
One person, who attends the forum often, told The NYPost: ‘You can almost smell the magic of the place when you’re there. Everyone’s got an agenda and you never know who you’re going to run into when you come out of the restroom. It could be Bill Gates.
‘You’re around some of the smartest people in the world but one thing you learn is that they’re not always so smart.’
Skybridge Capital founder and chairman Anthony Scaramucci said: ‘If you look up namedropping in the dictionary you’ll see a photo of Davos.
‘But you know what? I’ve never left the mountain without learning something important or making a new friend.’
Scaramucci, who has attended Davos for years, is hosting a wine soirée at the Hotel Europe during the conference – where bottles of wine and champagne will set you back nearly $1,000 a bottle.
In the past, Scaramucci has had the likes of Matt Damon, Richard Branson, Andrea Bocelli and Jill Biden at his WEF parties.
Other world heavyweights, like Tesla CEO Elon Musk, previously declined to attend, in his own words, ‘because it sounded boring af lol.’
Last year, other high-end events and selective soirees organized after the talks ended for the day offered esteemed guests more than just alcohol.
A psychedelics company offered people micro-doses of magic mushrooms to delegates during the 40-session and speaker ‘Medical Psychedelics House of Davos.’
In 2022, Maria Velcova, one of the organizers of Psychedelic House of Davos, said: ‘We spark curiosity with the neon sign out front. Once people get curious and brave enough to come down here, they realize that this isn’t some underground electronic dance party.
‘They find themselves meeting world-renowned scientists, clinicians, policymakers, people from for-profit and non-profit sectors, and experts from leading academic institutions.’
In 2016, five Swiss soldiers deployed to protect the World Economic Forum in Davos were sent home after testing positively for cocaine, the Swiss army said.
Seven more were disciplined for cannabis consumption after all 12, returning from leave, were suspected of intoxication.
‘All 12 soldiers consumed cannabis and five of them additionally consumed cocaine,’ Swiss army spokesman Stefan Holder said. ‘These five were immediately sent home. The others are receiving disciplinary punishment during their duty.’
Other debaucheries are also present at Davos. Last year, it was reported that sex workers who descended the snowy Swiss town were charging $2,500 a night for their services during the forum.
This year, politicians from across the globe are expected to attend the forum – including Chinese Premier Li Qiang, French president Emmanuel Macron, and Secretary of State Antony Blinken.
Leaders in the tech and celebrity world, including Sam Altman and Naomi Campbell, will also be at the event, fighting for invites to Davos’ most exclusive after-parties.
Secret cocktail parties with caviar-flecked canapes, private dinners rubbing shoulders with billionaires, followed by a night of dancing, will be how the elites at WEF spend their evenings unwinding.
Artists such as Lenny Kravitz and the Black Eyed Peas have performed at private parties in the past – and Nile Rodgers, Will.i.am and Cool and Dre are down to make appearances this year.
Rodgers will be receiving the 30th annual Crystal Award at the WEF this year.
At the elite, snowy event, everyone has to wear colored badges with their names on it – on full display. But even the color schemes show a social hierarchy.
White badges are for top-tier business leaders and CEOs – and are the most expensive to get accreditation for.
Less important CEOs, bosses, the media, and staff working at the event will then receive an array of colored badges.
Meanwhile, Ukraine pushed ahead with its peace formula to end nearly two years of war with Russia with a meeting of national security advisers from around the world in Davos on Sunday.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, who is scheduled to address the World Economic Forum in Davos later in the week, was not in the opening morning session, which included 81 participants from countries and international organizations.
Zelenskiy was represented by his chief of staff Andriy Yermak at Sunday’s talks, which were also attended by the U.S. special representative for Ukraine’s Economic Recovery Penny Pritzker, as well as James O’Brien, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs.
As concerns grow about ongoing U.S. support for the war in Ukraine during an election year, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan and Secretary of State Antony Blinken are both expected to address the WEF, which officially starts on Monday evening.
Switzerland, which hosted the NSA representatives, said the Ukraine peace talks aimed to finalise principles ‘for a lasting and just peace in Ukraine’ at the level of national security advisers.
The principles, it said in a statement last week, should form the basis for the next stages of the peace process.
The role of the Global South in Ukraine’s peace formula talks has come into focus in Davos. Many of the non-aligned countries from Africa, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia that have largely stayed on the sidelines over Ukraine will be represented in the Swiss mountain resort this week.
Nigeria’s national security adviser Nuhu Ribadu could be seen attending the NSA meeting. Yermak said that there were participants from 18 Asian countries, 12 African countries and 6 South American countries.
‘Countries from the Global South are increasingly involved in our work,’ Yermak said on his Telegram account.
Ukraine, with strong backing from its allies, has consistently said it will not give up until it has reclaimed every piece of territory that Russia has taken.
It is unclear, however, if countries in the Global South agree with that as a peace formula.