Manal Ataya is a specialist with 13 years’ experience in museology and cultural diplomacy.

As Director-General of the Sharjah Museums Authority, Ataya is responsible for the overall management of 17 museums and the strategic development of future museum projects as per the directives of HH Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Federal Supreme Council of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Sharjah. The current museum offerings cover Islamic culture and history, contemporary art, heritage, maritime history, archaeology and science.

Ataya serves on the advisory boards at a number of institutions, including the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Sharjah; Supreme Committee for the UNESCO World Heritage List file for Sharjah; and ICCROM-ATHAR, a regional centre for the preservation of cultural heritage in the Arab region.

She has been awarded two distinguished international fellowships in leadership, one from the Aspen Institute, Washington, DC (2018) and one from the Clore Duffield Foundation, London (2010). She holds a BA in Studio Art and Communication Studies from Hamilton College, Clinton, US (2001) and an MA in Museum Studies from Harvard University (2004), Cambridge, US.

She was born in 1979 in Dubai and currently lives and works in the UAE.

SAF participation:
March Meeting 2016

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