Manal Ataya is a museum professional with over 15 years of senior executive experience in museum development and cultural diplomacy. As Director General of the Sharjah Museums Authority, for over a decade, she is responsible for the overall management of 16 museums in the emirate of Sharjah, UAE. Her mandate includes strategic development of future museum projects, advising in museum & cultural policy, fostering partnerships with the international museum community and leading the efforts to deliver international best practice in museum services. The current museum offering covers Islamic culture and history, contemporary art, heritage, maritime history, archaeology, science and children's learning. She is responsible for the implementation of His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan Bin Mohammed Al Qasimi’s directives for future museum and cultural heritage related projects.
She currently serves on numerous advisory boards including the University of Sharjah (College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences), Global Cultural Districts Network (GCDN), Make A Wish Foundation-UAE, and ICCROM-Sharjah, the field office of the UN’s body for cultural heritage management in the Arab world. She is also a Global Ambassador for the ‘Equality for Growth’ initiative of Thinkers & Doers institute in Paris, France.
Ataya was awarded the Order of Arts & Letters by the Republic of France in 2018 for her significant contributions to culture.
Ataya is a graduate of both Hamilton College (2001) and Harvard University (2004), USA.