Board of Trustees

Born in the Emirate of Sharjah, Abdulrahman bin Mohammed Al Owais comes from a family renowned for its cultural and literary interests. He graduated in 1989 from UEAU, Al Ain with a BA in Accounting and Information Systems.

While studying, Owais pursued his passion for photography, modern Arabic calligraphy and Arab plastic arts. Amongst his current tenures in the fields of literature, arts, culture and media the most important is his position as Minister of Culture Youth and Community Development, which he has held since 2006. He has also attends the following roles: 1992 to present: Member of the Sultan Bin Ali Al Owais Cultural Foundation’s board of trustees. Present: Chairman of the General Authority of Youth & Sports Welfare.

Beyond art and culture, he assumes leadership responsibilities in the financial and banking sector:

Current: Member of the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
1994 to date: Member of the board of directors of the Sharjah Islamic.
2001-2006: Mr Owais was also a member of the board of directors for Emirates Media Inc.
2004 to 2006: Board member of Real Estate Bank.

Saeed Mohamed Al Nabouda is the Acting Director General (since 2010) and Chief Project Officer (since 2008) of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). In this role, he has overall responsibility for managing the DCAA’s Executive levels as well as projects aimed at developing Dubai as a vibrant hub for culture and arts in the region. He also manages diverse projects that seek to promote the development and appreciation of art and culture in Dubai.

A resourceful business leader and strategic thinker, Al Nabouda started his career by managing the finance function of the Dubai Shopping Festival (DSF) and later the Dubai Summer Surprises (DSS).

In September 2000, he moved to Marketing, where he showed a rare blend of creative and operational strengths. He was named Chief Marketing Officer in 2001. In this position, his responsibilities included managing the DSF and DSS brands, with special focus on product formulation, communications strategy and alliance building.

In recognition of his strengths and his achievements, Al Nabouda was appointed Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of Organizing Committee of Dubai Shopping Festival and Dubai Summer Surprises in 2002. His vision and strategy proved instrumental in driving the two events into new areas. Under his leadership, both the events developed into major drivers of tourism for Dubai and world-class festivals with truly global appeal and a diverse range of events and activities covering culture, arts, heritage and sport.

Born in Dubai in 1975, Saeed Al Nabouda is married with 3 children. He has been a board member of various Government committees like Crown Prince’s Championships for Heritage Sports as well as the Dubai Media Commission.  Currently he is on board of Social Development Committee for Dubai city.

Ali Bin Thalith is a professional documentary film photographer hailing from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. He is also the current Secretary General of the Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA).

He holds diplomas in Photojournalism and Documentary Photography (London Academy); French language and literature (University of Montpellier, France). 

As an underwater photographer, he has participated in many underwater expeditions throughout Asia notably in Indonesia’s Raja Ampat Islands and Sipadan in Malaysia. In Sipadan, he also helped establish an educational program for children of the remote oceanic island. 

As Secretary General of HIPA, Bin Thalith oversaw the fledgling competition in reaching photographers from 154 countries within its 4 years of existence. In November of 2013, he led a HIPA delegation to provide photography training and workshops to Syrian children at the Emirates-Jordan refugee camp in Northern Jordan. A series of photographs from the trip would later be exhibited and published as a book titled “Faces”. 

One of his most notable works is the short documentary film titled “Gaza Diver”, which narrates the journey and hopes of a young amputee who travels to Dubai for medical treatment – thanks to a noble gesture by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Crown Prince of Dubai.

In 2014, Bin Thalith was awarded with the International Photographic Council’s (IPC) Professional Photographer Leadership Award for his career work in the field of photography. As a result, Bin Thalith became the first Emirati and Arab recipient of the prestigious accolade at the IPC Pro Luncheon at the United Nations in New York City.


Majed Abdurrahman Al Bastaki is a poet hailing from in Dubai. He holds a higher diploma in Islamic Studies and Arabic Language. Al Bastaki holds numerous positions including those of Director of Information and Media Advisor for his Highness Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai.

Due to his interest and passion in traditional poetry he was deemed the perfect choice to chair the ‘Higher Committee of Dubai Traditional Poetry Forum’ and the ‘President of Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Initiative for Creative Writing’.

Al Bastaki is highly respected in the literary and artistic circles in the UAE and is a member of:

The Journalist Association, UAE
Publishing Committee for HRH Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Architectural Majed Al Bastaki

Matar Bin Lahej is an artist specializing in plastic artist, sculpture and photography. He has participated in a number of international exhibitions in: Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Kuwait, Berlin – Germany and Istanbul – Morocco. He is Director of ‘Matar Atelier for Plastic Arts’, which he established to fulfill the desires of the creative community. His mission is to explore, embrace, polish and refine artistic talents; and to nurture appreciation of the value of art and creative development through inculcating a greater respect, understanding and attachment to nature.

Bin Lahej also runs the Bin Lahej Group and Roots Group for artistic communication. He is a member of the Architectural Heritage Society. Since 1996, he has participated in dozens of group exhibitions; and been awarded numerous of international and local certificates of appreciation. He also organized a number of solo exhibitions from 1999 onwards, such as the Matar Annual Exhibition (1999-2010); and a by-play in Germany at the Ayyam Gallery in 2009.


Passionate about travel and adventure, photographer Henry Dallal has been armed with a camera since the age of nine, when his father gave him a Box Brownie. Besides mountains and landscapes, the world of horses has been a central feature of his work. He has photographed, authored and published books including, Desert Pageantry,  The Royal Cavalry Of Oman, Horse Warriors: India’s 61st Cavalry (awarded the bronze medal for best coffee table book by the Independent Book Publishers Award), Diamond Jubilee Pageant: The World Came To Windsor; and Pageantry And Performance, The Household Cavalry In A Celebration Of Pictures. He has contributed to several other books including: Qatar, Sand, Sea, And Sky; Horses; Horse Gunners; Endurance; Magic Of Monaco and Flowers In The Park.

Henry has been honoured to photograph HM Queen Elizabeth II as well as other senior world figures. His photography has been exhibited at Balmoral and Windsor Castles; Blenheim Palace; Kensington Palace; Naples Museum of Art, Florida; the Royal Geographical Society and the Smithsonian Institution. He was awarded with “Best View of Britain at 6:00 am” by the BBC’s Today programme.

Born in Iran, Henry has made London his home since moving there from Colorado in 1994. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Member of the Alpine Club. He is a board member of the Hamdan International Photography Award (HIPA).


Ahmed Saeed Al Mansouri is considered one of the young key national manpower in UAE , a graduate of Emirates University / Public Communication Department, he received many awards and accolades through his professional and creative career, such as the Distinguished Employee Award by Dubai Media Incorporated in 2008, in addition to numerous awards and recognitions for his role as director of ‘Sama Dubai’ channel, and the Creative Government Employee award in 2009. Ahmed Al Mansouri has been a highly active contributor in the local and Arab media scenes, and is a permanent participant in all major exhibitions and media events.

He currently serves as the Director-General of Dubai Media Incorporated channels.
He previously served as General Manager of "Sama Dubai" channel, and as Deputy Director General of the "Dubai Media City."
He holds a Master's degree in Public Communication.



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