Our Founder

Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan

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

The Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation aims to contribute to the creation of positive futures for the people of the United Arab Emirates and the full realization of their potential and aspirations. The Foundation’s work is focused in the areas of Arts, Culture and Heritage; Early Childhood Development; and Health. It also hosts, through its Muntada program (“Forum” in Arabic), a public seminar series featuring leading thinkers and innovators from the UAE and internationally. As a family foundation, the SHF also serves to cultivate the philanthropic interests of Her Highness’s children and provide an additional platform through which they can serve society.

The Foundation’s initial priorities reflected Her Highness’s lifelong interests and commitments, including supporting emerging Emirati and Arab artists from the earliest stages of their development and providing them with support and opportunities to fulfill their potential; creating new opportunities for the UAE people 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 experience as a mother and grandmother also led her to support various initiatives in the field of Early Childhood Development, including supporting public education efforts for parents and providing support to future leaders in the field of Early Childhood Development in the UAE.

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

In addition to her philanthropic giving, Her Highness supports a range of humanitarian causes internationally through the Red Crescent.

Her Highness has been recognized 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 presented 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, the President of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of Abu Dhabi. His and Her Highness have nine children and fourteen grandchildren.