Manal Ataya

Manal Ataya

Director-General, Sharjah Museums Authority

Manal Ataya is a museum specialist with 14 years’ 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 executive management of 16 museums in the emirate of Sharjah, UAE, which span Islamic culture and history, contemporary art, heritage, maritime history, archaeology, science and children’s learning. Her mandate includes strategic development of future museum projects, advising on museum and cultural policy, fostering partnerships with international institutions and leading efforts to deliver best practices in museum services.

Ataya holds degrees from both Hamilton College (2001) and Harvard University (2004) and has been recognized by distinguished international leadership programs as a Clore fellow (2010) and an Aspen Institute fellow (2018). 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 France in 2018 for her contributions to culture.