Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani

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Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani
HE Sheikha Al Mayassa.png
Sheikha Al Mayassa Al-Thani
Born Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani
1983 (age 31)
Doha, Qatar
Residence Doha, Qatar
Occupation Founder and Chairperson of Qatar Museums, Doha Film Institute
Religion Islam
Spouse(s) Jassim bin Abdul Aziz Al-Thani (m. 2006)
Children 3 sons
Parent(s) Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned
Styles of
Sheikha Al-Mayassa
Emblem of Qatar.svg
Reference style Her Excellency
Spoken style Your Excellency
Alternative style Ma'am

Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani (born 1983) is the sister of Qatar's ruling Emir Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and daughter of the country's Father Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani and former First Lady Moza bint Nasser. Al-Mayassa was declared the most influential person in art on ArtReview's Power 100,[1] and prominently appears on the Time 100,[2] and Forbes' The World's 100 Most Powerful Women.[3] Al-Mayassa serves as Chairperson of Qatar Museums, and it was reported by Bloomberg that her annual acquisition budget on behalf of the organization is estimated at $1 billion.[4]

Al Mayassa is said to have purchased the most expensive painting in the world, Paul Gauguin's When Will You Marry? in 2015 for $300 million,[5] 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.


Sheikha Al-Mayassa graduated with a B.A. degree in Political Science and Literature from Duke University (Durham, North Carolina, USA) in 2005.[6] While at Duke, she was Vice President of the International Association, Vice President of Hiwar (an organization to promote political dialogue),[citation needed] 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.

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.[3] She has been profiled extensively in the NY Times.[7]

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.[8]

Art collecting[edit]

Sheikha Al Mayassa's wealth and role as Chairperson of Qatar Museums make her influential among art collectors. Bloomberg reported her acquisition budget on behalf of Qatar Museums is estimated at $1 billion annually.[4][9]

Sheikha Al Mayassa is said to have purchased the most expensive painting in the world, Paul Gauguin's When Will You Marry? in 2015 for $300 million,[5] 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.[7]

Sheikha Al Mayassa participated in a TED Talk in February 2012, where she highlighted the importance of the social impact of art. She affirmed that her goal was to create a local collection of art to contribute in shaping the Qatari national identity.[10]


Sheikha Mayassa 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.

Sheikha Mayassa's mother Sheikha Mozah is responsible for opening campuses of several world-class academic institutions in Doha, including Virginia Commonwealth University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown University, Northwestern University, Texas A&M University and Weill Cornell Medical College.

Her brother Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani is the Chairman of Qatar's winning bid to stage the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Doha.

Sheikha Al Mayassa's father founded Al Jazeera and established the Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign wealth fund to manage the country's oil and natural gas surpluses.[11] The Qatar Investment Authority and its subsidiaries have acquired many businesses abroad, including London's iconic department store Harrods from entrepreneur Mohammed Al-Fayed,[12] Paris based department store Printemps,[13] French football club Paris Saint-Germain F.C.,[14] a 10% stake in Porsche,[15] a 75% stake in film studio Miramax which they acquired from Disney,[16] a 2% stake in media conglomerate and Universal Music Group parent company Vivendi,[17] a $100 million USD investment in Chernin Group – whose founder Peter Chernin was COO of News Corp and President of Fox,[18] a 1% stake in luxury goods manufacturer Louis Vuitton Moët Hennessy,[19] a 6% stake in Credit Suisse,[20] a 12.6% stake in Barclays[21] and several other major companies. They also backed Glencore's $31 billion USD takeover bid for Xstrata.[22] Qatar is the largest property owner in London with their holdings including Europe's tallest building The Shard, Olympic Village and Park Lane's InterContinental Hotel.[23] They also own several hotels in Cannes including the Majestic Hotel, Grand Hyatt Cannes Hôtel Martinez and Carlton Hotel.[24] QIA was considered to have one of the leading bids in the sales of both Anschutz Entertainment Group[25] and Hulu.[26] As of May 2013, it was reported the Investment Authority is in talks to purchase Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman.[27]

Marriage and children[edit]

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 and one daughter.

  • Sheikh Mohammed bin Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al Thani.
  • Sheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al Thani.
  • Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al Thani.
  • Sheikha Norah bint Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al Thani



  1. ^ Power 100
  2. ^ Takashi Murakami (2014-04-23). "Sheika al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani". Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  3. ^ a b "Board of Trustees". Qatar Museum Authority. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  4. ^ a b Nayeri, Farah (2013-10-23). "Sheikha Mayassa Tops Art Power List for $1 Billion Spend". Bloomberg. Retrieved 2014-05-13. 
  5. ^ a b Reyburn, Scott (2015-02-05). "SGauguin Painting Is Said to Fetch $300 Million". NY Times. Retrieved 2015-02-09. 
  6. ^ Rohter, Larry (23 October 2009). "Mixing Oil and Hollywood: Tribeca Festival Expands to the Persian Gulf". The New York Times. Retrieved 3 November 2010. 
  7. ^ a b Qatari Riches Are Buying Art World Influence
  8. ^ 13 February 2013 DeadlineBerlin: Participant Media, Doha Film Institute Launch Five-Year $100M Feature Film Fund
  9. ^ "Who’s Who in Qatar: The People of Qatar You Should Know About", 10 Aug 2014
  10. ^ "Sheikha al-Mayassa, Patron of – Some of – the Arts". Retrieved 28 July 2015. 
  11. ^ 17 July 2013 – Qatar Investment Authority
  12. ^ 8 May 2010 ReutersQatar investor buys UK department store Harrods
  13. ^ 8 April 2013 The Wall Street Journal – Qatari Investors to Buy Printemps
  14. ^ 24 May 2013 NY Times – Qatari Hopes for Paris Saint-Germain Meet Reality
  15. ^ 17 June 2013 Reuters – Qatar sells back 10 percent Porsche stake to founding families
  16. ^ 21 January 2013 The Hollywood ReporterRon Tutor Sells His Miramax Stake
  17. ^ 21 March 2012 Bloomberg -Vivendi Says Shareholder Qatar Holding Raised its Stake to 2%
  18. ^ 8 November 2012 LA TimesChernin Group receives $100-million investment from Qatar Holding
  19. ^ 16 March 2012 VogueSlice Of LVMH
  20. ^ 14 February 2011 BloombergCredit Suisse Raises $6.2 Billion From Qatar Holding, Olayan
  21. ^ 5 February 2013 ReutersBarclays ducks Qatar questions, takes $1.6 billion mis-selling hit
  22. ^ 15 November 2012 NY TimesQatar Wealth Fund Backs Glencore’s Bid for Xstrata
  23. ^ 21 June 2013 The IndependentSheikh Hamad bin Jassim bin Jaber al-Thani: Meet the man who bought London
  24. ^ 15 December 2011 Pie MagCannes Carlton hotel sold to Qatar investor for €450m
  25. ^ 13 November 2012 NY PostAEG shoots for stars with up to $10B sale
  26. ^ 9 June 2013 Arabian BusinessQatar among bidders for US online TV firm
  27. ^ 31 May 2013 NY PostQatar Investment Authority in talks to buy Neiman Marcus

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