As directed by His Highness Sheikh Dr. Sultan bin Mohammed AlQasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, the Sharjah Museums Authority ــ SMA was established in 2006 as an autonomous government authority. SMA links and oversees 16 museums across Sharjah that cover widely varied fields, including Islamic art and culture, archaeology, heritage, science, marine life, as well as the history of Sharjah and the region.
Our vision is to be a cultural beacon that enhances Sharjah’s identity locally and internationally and contribute in nurturing a community aware of museums’ importance as a cultural, educational and enjoyable destination.
Our mission is to deliver the highest museum standards to preserve collections & enhance an appreciation of culture and learning through our exhibitions, educational and community programs.
Director General, Sharjah Museums Authority
Manal Ataya is a museum professional with almost 2 decades of senior level experience in museum development, cultural heritage management and cultural diplomacy. She became the founding Deputy Director of Sharjah Museums Authority (established by the Ruler of Sharjah in 2006) for 2 years before being promoted to the Director General in 2008, overseeing a team of over 650 staff working in Sharjah’s network of 16 museums.
The museums include dedicated collections of modern and contemporary Arab art, Islamic Art, Gulf heritage, Science, Marine life and UAE archaeology. Ataya develops forward planning, museum policy, international partnerships and leads on new museum projects.
Ataya directs and implements a comprehensive program for all museums exhibitions, collections care, educational activities, community outreach, cross cultural exchanges and accessibility.
SMA is keen to introduce its visitors to the rules and guidelines for using the museums’ facilities, to ensure the safety of the collections and visitors alike.