Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan

Biography

Vision

To offer strong leadership that will encourage, educate and inspire communities and to provide a vision that will create tangible platforms for the sustainable future of the United Arab Emirates.

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Early years: riding Fleur at family’s stud farm

Entrepreneur, philanthropist, and published author, Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan is CEO of Alliances for Global Sustainability, Founder of the Circle of Hope foundation and Co-Founder of Aurora50.

A graduate of the University of Cambridge, holding a Masters degree in Sustainability Leadership, Sheikha Shamma is a well-respected industry expert on sustainability, thanks to her business and academic endeavours in the field.

Alliances for Global Sustainability, the organisation she founded and leads as CEO, identifies, develops and invests in high-performing ventures and provides advisory services for global sustainability in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Projects include: recycling ventures, renewable energy projects, smart city development and advisory services.

Sheikha Shamma serves on the Advisory Board of Yale’s Center for Environmental Law and Policy. In 2020, the Emirates Green Building Council appointed her as Honorary President.

Widely recognised for her contributions in the philanthropic and social responsibility sphere, Sheikha Shamma was socially conscious from a very young age and has, for many years, taken an active role in community development by launching non-profit organisations and initiatives.

Her charitable foundation, Circle of Hope, has spearheaded a substantial number of local and international initiatives; these include ‘Wanna Read?’, which has placed over 7,000 books for young patients in hospitals across the UAE; Beacon of Hope, which has supplied thousands of children in developing countries with an important solar-light resource and which was recognised at the 2018 United Nations Solutions Summit; and, MorEquity (formerly the Women’s Empowerment and Equality Board), created to promote gender equality in the workplace and the boardroom.

Sheikha Shamma’s business acumen is further demonstrated by her involvement in several other industries, including the prestigious Al Asayl Show Jumping team, and the Royal Publishing House who have published numerous books she has written, including ‘The Adventures of Maxima and Coustaud: In Search of a Global Solution’, ‘The Lost Princess’, and ‘The Colour Thief’. In addition to being a regular columnist for The National newspaper, Sheikha Shamma has co-authored two articles published in “Future Governments – Actions and Insights”.

As an active and passionate researcher, Sheikha Shamma has presented academic papers at global conferences in the fields of gender studies, migration studies, sustainable development, knowledge transfer, consumer behaviour, Emiratisation and financial literacy. In 2019, she was invited to speak at the MENA chapter of the World Economic Forum in Jordan where she discussed policy development for sustainability in the Arab World. In November 2018, Sheikha Shamma was one of the judges on the sustainability panel at the Solar Decathlon in Dubai.

Recognition for Sheikha Shamma’s valuable work has resulted in her being awarded the position of Research Associate at the Institute for Social and Economic Research at Zayed University, and she sits on the Industry and Academic Advisory Board of the Academy of International Business MENA.

Sheikha Shamma cites her great-grandfather, the UAE’s founding father, His Highness Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan, as a source of inspiration and credits his vision as the reason why she places immense importance on sustainability, philanthropy, and female empowerment. Through her actions, Sheikha Shamma aspires to ensure that Sheikh Zayed’s legacy lives on and that his vision continues to create a positive impact globally.