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Specialist Topics Cultural & Social Intelligence
Gender Equality
Islamic Art
Visual Arts
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MANAL ATAYA Arts & Culture
Social Development
Gender Equality


Manal Ataya is a museology specialist with over 14 years of senior managerial experience in museum development and cultural diplomacy. As Director General of the Sharjah Museums Authority for over a decade, she is tasked with the overall management of 16 museums in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates. Ataya provides strategic forward planning,advising in international museum best practice & policy and executive operational running of several departments. She is passionate about her advocacy initiatives for accessible arts education and programs that promote cross-cultural dialogue. 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.
Ataya is a graduate of both Hamilton College (2001) and Harvard University (2004).
She serves on numerous advisory boards including Global Cultural Districts Network; the University of Sharjah’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences; and ICCROM-Sharjah, the Arab region’s field office of the UN’s body for cultural heritage preservation.
Ataya was awarded the Chevalier Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Republic in 2018 for her significant contributions to culture.

areas of expertise : culture, arts education, cultural diplomacy, women leadership, middle east museums, cultural heritage.

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