H.E Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo
H.E Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo is a patron of the arts who has dedicated her life to inspiring artists to create, generations to innovate and communities to unite and prosper.
H.E Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo
H.E Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo is a patron of the arts who has dedicated her life to inspiring artists to create, generations to innovate and communities to unite and prosper. She worked tirelessly to found the Abu Dhabi Music and Arts Foundation (ADMAF) in 1996 and is also the Artistic Director of the jewel in its crown, the Abu Dhabi Festival, which she established in 2004.
H.E Huda Alkhamis-Kanoo’s unquantifiable contribution to the UAE’s national cultural sector was recognised by H.H. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan in 2006. His Highness appointed her to the Board of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage (now Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi), on which she served until 2012.
Her Excellency has received numerous awards for her dedication to the arts, education and women’s development, including The Abu Dhabi Award and Abu Dhabi Medal (conferred by H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi), the UN-affiliated Women Together Award, the Aspen Institute Emerging Voice Award for Cultural Stewardship, the Puccini Festival Foundation Award, an honorary doctorate from the American University of Paris, and the Middle East Institute’s Visionary Award, among many others.
Amongst the orders bestowed upon her are The Commander of the Royal Order of Isabella the Catholic (Orden de Isabel la Católica), conferred upon her by HM Juan Carlos, former King of Spain, by order of HM Philip IV, King of Spain; The Medal of Civil Merit of Spain; the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (Bundesverdienstkreuz); Commendatore dell’Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà of Italy; Chevalier de l’Ordre National de la Légion d’Honneur of France; Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France; the Belgian Officer of the Order of the Crown, bestowed upon her by HM Albert II, King of Belgium; The Gloria Artis Medal of Poland; and the Order of the British Empire (OBE), bestowed upon her by HM Queen Elizabeth the Second.
She serves on the boards of the Cleveland Clinic International Leadership Board, the International Circle of the Reina Sofía College of Music,and the International Advisory Board of the Edinburgh International Festival. She is also a founding member of the American Ballet Theatre’s Global Council, and she sits on the National Advisory Board of Zayed University – College of Arts and Creative Enterprises.
An Emirati National, the daughter of a pioneering Saudi businessman and a Syrian mother, Her Excellency was born in Beirut, Lebanon. Raised at a crossroads of cultures, her education took her to the American College of Paris, where she studied French literature and art history. Shee returned to the region and settled in Abu Dhabi. She is married to businessman and artist Mohamed Abdul Latif Kanoo, a member of the prominent Yusuf bin Ahmed Kanoo business family, with whom she has three children, Abdul Latif, Noor and Abdul Rahman.