Our Founder

Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan

Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan holds the position of Founder of the philanthropic foundation that bears her name and is the Chair of Abu Dhabi Art Host Committee.

The mission of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation is to contribute to the creation of positive futures for the people of the United Arab Emirates and the full realization of their potential and aspiration. The Foundation funds in the areas of art, culture and heritage; education; and health. It also hosts, through its Muntada program (“Forum” in Arabic), a monthly public seminar series of leading international and local thinkers and innovators. In addition, as a family foundation it serves to cultivate the philanthropic interests of her children and as a platform from which they can serve society.

The work of the Foundation reflects Her Highness’s lifelong interests and commitments – supporting emerging Emirati and Arab artists from the earliest stages of their development and providing them with the supports and opportunities that will enable them to fulfill their potential; creating opportunities for the people of the United Arab Emirates to engage with the arts; raising the international profile of Emirati artists; and supporting innovative ways to capture the rich cultural heritage of the UAE.

Her Highness’s innate character as a dedicated mother led her also to develop path breaking work in the field of Early Childhood Development where, in partnership with Yale University, she is establishing a Center of Excellence on the topic, supporting public education efforts to promote effective parenting, and providing fellowships for the leaders who will build the field of Early Childhood Development for the UAE.

Most importantly, the Foundation reflects the core values that have guided Her Highness throughout her life: humility, respect, a strong ethos of service, compassion and dedication to the people of the UAE.

In addition to her philanthropic giving through the Foundation, Her Highness supports a number of humanitarian efforts internationally through the Red Crescent.

Her Highness has received broad recognition for her work in philanthropy and the arts. She was awarded the “Woman Personality of the Year Award 2011″ by the Middle East Excellence Awards Institute, was given the “Sharjah Voluntary Work Award” in 2012, and was named one of Canvass Magazine’s Power 50 as one of the most influential cultural protagonists in Middle Eastern art and culture.

Her Highness Sheikha Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan is the wife of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces. His and Her Highness have nine children and twelve grandchildren.