Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani

Head of the Qatar Museums Authority (QMA) and sister of the Emir

The lavish spending on art that propelled the sheikha to the top of this list in 2013 may no longer be so much in evidence, but the head of Qatar Museums still wields influence in the country’s drive to reinvent itself as a cultured, outward-looking knowledge economy. With the construction of the Jean Nouvel-designed Qatar National Museum (scheduled to open in 2016) and a longlist of architects just released for the neighbouring Art Mill project, the sheikha has been actively developing various international networks and initiatives, among them a regional artists’ residency programme, a showcase exhibition of Brazilian art and a major gathering of policymakers, artists and architects on the role of culture in urban development. 

For all that soft power, the sheikha was awarded the StellaRe prize, established by another female Power 100 mover, Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo. Not that Qatar has lost interest in big-ticket art buying; in February it emerged that the Gulf state had broken its own record for the most ever paid for an artwork, reportedly buying Paul Gauguin’s When Will You Marry? (Nafea Faa Ipoipo) (1882) for $300m (£197m).