Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (born 1983) is the sister of the Emir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani. Her father Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani is the former Emir, and mother Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned, the former First Lady. In April 2014, Time named her one of the 100 most influential people in the world. She was ranked by Forbes as one of the world’s 100 most powerful women. Sheikha Al Mayassa was rated the most influential person in art by ArtReview on their annual Power 100. Bloomberg reported her acquisition budget on behalf of Qatar Museums is estimated at $1 billion annually.
Sheikha Al Mayassa is the Chairperson of Qatar Museums, whose CEO Edward Dolman previously served as Chairman of Christie’s International, and responsible for cultivating significant cultural events in the region. She has been profiled extensively in the NY Times.
Sheikha Al Mayassa is said to have purchased the most expensive painting in the world, Paul Gaugin’s When Will You Marry? in 2015 for $300 million, Cezanne’s The Card Players in 2012 for $250 million, as well as Mark Rothko’s White Center (Yellow, Pink and Lavender on Rose) in 2007 for $70 million, a Damien Hirst pill cabinet for $20 million and works by Jeff Koons, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Francis Bacon. She has staged major exhibitions in Qatar with Takashi Murakami, Richard Serra and Damien Hirst (underwriting his exhibit first at the Tate Modern prior to opening in Doha). The Sheikha oversees a vast array of museums including the I. M. Pei designed Museum of Islamic Art, Doha. A Jean Nouvel designed National Museum of Qatar and an Orientalist Museum by Herzog & de Meuron are slated to open in the coming years.
Sheikha Al Mayassa is also Chairperson of the Doha Film Institute which partnered with the Tribeca Film Festival to produce several annual iterations of the Doha Tribeca Film Festival. In February 2013, they announced a $100 million feature film fund with Participant Media, a production company founded by billionaire Jeffrey Skoll, who was the first employee and also first president of internet auction firm eBay.
Education and career
– Sheikha Al-Mayassa graduated with a B.A. degree in Political Science and Literature from Duke University (Durham, North Carolina, USA) in 2005. While at Duke, she was Vice President of the International Association, Vice President of Hiwar (an organization to promote political dialogue), and a delegate to the 2001-2002 Model United Nations.
– During the 2003-2004 school year, she studied at the University of Paris 1 Pantheon-Sorbonne, and the Institut d’Études Politiques de Paris (known as Sciences Po).
– Upon graduation, Sheikha al-Mayassa established the NGO Reach Out To Asia. This organization is a philanthropic effort inspired by the desire to help the victims of recent natural disasters in Asia by providing quality education; it also celebrated the occasion of the 2006 Asian Games in Doha.
Marriage and children
Sheikha Al-Mayassa married Sheikh Jassim bin Abdul Aziz Al-Thani at Al-Wajbah Palace, Doha, on 6 January 2006. Sheikh Jassim is an elder son of Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Jassim bin Hamad Al-Thani, making them second cousins. Together they have three sons:
* Sheikh Mohammed
* Sheikh Hamad
* Sheikh Abdulaziz