Sheikha Hoor Al-Qasimi

President of the Sharjah Art Foundation and International Biennial Association

While mixed reviews greeted this year’s Sharjah Biennial, which Sheikha Hoor has organised since 2003 through her Sharjah Art Foundation, the festival is established as one of the most significant art events globally. In September she was announced as the new head of the International Biennial Association, a move that sees the organisation relocate its operations to the United Arab Emirates (which is ruled by Sheikha Hoor’s father), reinforcing its outsize position in the artworld. Sheikha Hoor balances the academic (the foundation’s annual March Meeting conference boasted a typical artworld band of intellects, curator Charles Esche and artists Raqs Media Collective included) with the accessible (the Yayoi Kusama exhibition that closed early this year, curated by Sheikha Hoor herself). She also sits on a plethora of boards at museums in and outside the region, including MoMA PS1, KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Ashkal Alwan and Darat al Funun.