Icons of Culture

Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum

​​Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority
Vice Chairman, Emirates Literature Foundation
Honourary Chairman of the Zayed University Alu​mni Association Board

For Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, culture is an enriching collective of constantly evolving experiences that integrate the past, the present and the future. 

HH Sheikha Latifa draws her own cultural outlook from the city's distinctive Emirati heritage, its contemporary urban identity and its futuristic vision.

This remarkable confluence of tradition and modernity, which defines her vision for Dubai's cultural context, has been shaped by the deep insights she gained from her father, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, and from the lasting legacy of her grandfather the late Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed Al Maktoum.

Throughout her life's journey and across all the entrusted responsibilities she seeks to fulfil, HH Sheikha Latifa is guided by the words of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid: "You either do something yourself, you create something, or you follow somebody. If you want to follow anybody, you have to wait for them to get in front of you to follow them. I want to be a winner, so I want to create. I cannot lie back and be idle, because I want everybody to work as hard as I do. How can I ask people to do things I'm not doing?"

HH Sheikha Latifa grew up listening to the lyrical stanzas of traditional Nabati poetry, a feature of life in the Arabian Peninsula, which is also very close to the heart of her poet-father. This, in turn, inspired in her a love for the written word and a passion for creative pursuits.

Now, HH Sheikha Latifa brings that profound creative legacy of the Al Maktoum family to her role as Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture).

In this role, she is dedicated to communicating the cultural narrative of Dubai and catalysing creative enterprises through landmark initiatives that reflect her father's vision of a 'happy, empowered, creative people,' which also forms a pillar of the UAE's Vision 2021.

Over the years, HH Sheikha Latifa has been instrumental in bringing together the myriad cultural platforms of Dubai under one umbrella. With Dubai Culture at the vanguard, she has strategised a number of platforms that enable the city's creative community not only to excel in their domain but also gain international recognition.

Exemplifying the global outlook of HH Sheikha Latifa are Dubai Art Season, a flagship fine arts initiative of Dubai Culture, and the 'Soul of Dubai,' a path-breaking approach that not only chronicles the spirit of dynamism, progress, and cultural diversity of Dubai, while remaining true to its identity and heritage, but also nurtures the city's talent in diverse artforms.

Upholding strong family values – the very essence of the Emirati identity – HH Sheikha Latifa is an ambassador of the 'Dubai Centre for Heritage Development,' another initiative by Dubai Culture to strengthen national identity by incorporating Emirati heritage in the educational curricula.

An avid reader and passionate writer, HH Sheikha Latifa serves as the Vice Chairman of the Emirates Literature Foundation and extends her support to the foundation's flagship event, the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. She is a patron of Downtown Design, a testament of her desire to guide the city's burgeoning creative artscape across all disciplines. 

In addition to her role at Dubai Culture, she ardently champions the importance of building leadership values in the UAE's youth. She launched the 'National Programme to Build Talent' through a partnership of the Dubai Government Human Resources Department and Zayed University, to support the development of new generations of pioneering women talent who can contribute to the all-round development of the nation.

HH Sheikha Latifa also holds the position of Honorary Chairman of the Zayed University Alumni Association Board, where she strives to guide young Emirati female graduates in determining their career paths and encourage them to identify new prospects that will enable them to achieve their true potential and evolve into well-rounded leaders and effective members of the society.

Prior to starting her career at the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and subsequently assuming the leadership role in catalysing Dubai's creative scene, HH Sheikha Latifa interned at Dubai Holding, where she worked across the group's various entities including Jumeirah Group, Dubai Healthcare City, TECOM, and Sama Dubai, an opportunity she obtained as one of the first graduates from the Dubai Leadership Programme.

An EMBA post-graduate with Honours from Zayed University and a graduate in Business Sciences specialised in Marketing, HH Sheikha Latifa has participated in numerous leadership training programmes. She completed her primary and secondary education at the Latifa School for Girls, where she was bestowed with the Rashid Scientific Excellence Award for her academic achievements.​

HH Sheikha Latifa's vision for Dubai's cultural sector reflects in her words: "Dubai is defined by its positivity and multicultural outlook, and our awe-inspiring growth is underlined by an abounding respect for our heritage. Beyond our architectural marvels, our city derives its character from its rich cultural identity – and that is the heart and soul of Dubai. My goal is to elevate the cultural sphere of our city, which is home to over 200 nationalities. My role is to encourage Dubai's talents, inspire their creativity, and support them to work together in our vibrant and culturally rich society. And every day, I work to make this a reality."