Sheikha Mayassa Bint Hamad al-Thani (b. 1983) is a member of the Qatari ruling family and a prominent art collector. She is the sister of Qatari Emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, and the daughter of former Emir Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani and Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser al-Missned. Sheikha Mayassa’s accomplishments in the Qatari and Gulf arts world are many, including chairing Qatar Museums since 2006—an aggregate of various contemporary and historical art and culture museums—chairing the Doha Tribeca Film Festival, and she is also the founder of the philanthropic organization Reach Out to Asia.
She is a notable and powerful collector of modern art, having spent more on acquisitions in 2013 than the Tate (London) and Museum of Modern Art (New York) combined. These efforts are part of a wider plan to establish Qatar as a regional arts hub that will shine in the Middle East, if not rival major art centers elsewhere in the world. Many of these pieces are on public display in Doha, including sometimes controversial works by Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, and Shirin Neshat.
“Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani,” ArtReview, 2015, accessed January 7, 2015.
Robin Pogrebin, “Qatari Riches Are Buying Art World Influence,” The New York Times, July 22, 2013, accessed January 7, 2015.