HRH Sheikha Mozah of Qatar and her immense contribution to society worlwide


Praised for her commitment to progressive education, including promotion of literacy through her special international role at UNESCO, her extensive community welfare activities and projects in Qatar, as well as  her strong advocacy for closer relations between the Islamic world and the West, have earned her the reputation as the most powerful and influential female leader in the entire Middle East. Meet Her Highness Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al Missned, First Lady of Qatar a role model for women around the world. She is as much dedicated to her family, as she is to every single of her projects whether related to education, healthcare, community welfare, arts or luxury. Despite the resonance of her work not only in Qatar, but also regionally and on an international scale, she remains one of the most discreet personalities of this calibre in the world. In her very rare public appearances which are not related to her projects, she may be spotted at the New Year Concert at the Vienna Opera (January this year) or at the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, in Paris, one of the most prestigious equestrian events in the world.

One can only imagine her schedule, which includes State visits abroad, attending congresses and conventions, looking after her business ventures, while being a wife and a mother at the same time. Qatar Foundation which she chairs has probably overtaken Qatar’s reputation as a country, which is a true mecca of higher education and research in the most various fields.  In 2003, Qatar Foundation inaugurated Education City, a prototypical campus of the future, bringing branches of renowned international universities to Qatar to provide top class degree programs.

This year, she is busy with the inauguration of Sidra Medical and Research Center , a revolutionary healthcare and medical research project. Demonstrating her commitment to this vision, Her Highness through Qatar Foundation has endowed Sidra with US$7.9 billion, the most generous cash endowment to a medical and research center anywhere in the world. As perhaps the most ambitious and far-reaching project at Education City to date, Sidra will be a true center of excellence for the care of women and children, and will also offer select medical and surgical services for adults. Sidra will also allow medical students to learn in an all-digital, state-of-the-art facility under the guidance of faculty from Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar, a branch of the renowned New York University. In addition, Sidra’s biomedical research center will open a significant new chapter in Qatar’s history, allowing the nation to contribute to the discovery of scientific knowledge in regard to diabetes, cardiovascular disease and other serious illnesses that afflict people here and around the world.

According to several reports in international media, HRH Sheikha Mozah is actively involved being a fervent supporter of the very first Qatar Fashion Week, which is also scheduled for 2012. Another project which she is closely supervising and which is rapidly taking shape is the grand Msheireb development, a city in city project in the heart of Doha which will include several hotels, including the first Mandarin Oriental in the Middle East, a Park Hyatt Hotel, as well as luxury retail, museums, art galleries etc. The project is scheduled to be delivered in stages, starting with 2014, a team including some of the best architects and construction companies in the world working intensely on the project.  

She may indeed be a top connoisseur haute couture buyer herself (often seen wearing Chanel, Stephane Roland and Dior), even more reason for her to be actively involved in a similar project. Several years ago she founded Qatar Luxury Group, a project which took the world by surprise. In the ateliers of QLG in Doha, the finest Italian and French craftsmen can produce from the the most intricate and complex haute couture gown to the finest quality shoes, made of the best leathers available in the world, not to mention, the jewellery atelier which is equipped with the latest technology for the most complicated pieces or precious stone cuts. In 2011, QLG completed the acquisition of French leatherwear house Le Tanneur with other project to follow suit, including hospitality, with the opening of an innovative luxury restaurant concept with 3 starred Michelin Chef.  

Although not involved directly, her influence is also felt on other major luxury businesses now owned by Qatar, such as the iconic London department store of Harrods and the future Peninsula Hotel in Paris.

HRH Sheikha Mozah, First Lady of Qatar with HRH Queen Elisabeth II and Prince Philip

And probably what is most impressive about Her Highness and her involvement in luxury, is not only her impeccable taste and sensible business skills, but also her understanding of luxury and her perception that luxury is about heritage, crafts and creativity, the three elements which she has been so actively promoting through her projects. And her ambitions will hardly stop here – we shall probably see yet another major international luxury maison becoming part of her family but also her incredible drive and passion which have been inspiring for her team, projects such as Msheireb advancing at a staggering pace.

Oliver Petcu