President of the Sharjah Art Foundation
Few discussions of Arab art and its global visibility can exclude mention of this Power 100 perennial, who has been instrumental in the cultural rejuvenation and soft-power reach of the UAE (Sharjah is ruled by her father). While the Sharjah Biennial (which the sheikha has run since 2003) rests this year, the Sharjah Art Foundation continues with an ambitious programme that pushes conceptual, if not political, boundaries in the conservative Muslim state. Notable exhibitions include the experimental The Time is Out of Joint, which contained reenactments of the first Arab Art Biennial in Baghdad (1974) and the 1989 China/Avant-Garde exhibition in Beijing, as well as an imagining of a future event, the Equator Conference 2022 in Yogyakarta. This sheikha (who also sits on the board of MoMA PS1) has personality. This year’s homecoming show of UAE’s national pavilion in the 56th Venice Biennale, which she curated, had a quirky venue: a ‘Flying Saucer’ building built in the 1970s that used to be a pizzeria.