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Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo

Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo

Founder, Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation (ADMAF)

Founder & Artistic Director, Abu Dhabi Festival


Hoda I. Al Khamis-Kanoo is a philanthropist 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.


Hoda Al Khamis-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.  He appointed her to the Board of the Abu Dhabi Authority for Culture & Heritage (ADACH) on which she served until 2012. For Hoda’s dedication to the arts and education and women’s development, she has received numerous awards and commendations including The Abu Dhabi Award & Abu Dhabi Medal (conferred by H.H. General Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi), The Medal of Civil Merit of Spain, the Bundesverdienstkreuz of Germany, Commendatore dell’ Ordine della Stella della Solidarietà of Italy, Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres of France, , the Belgian Officer of the Order of the Crown, The Gloria Artis Medal of Poland and The Order of the British Empire.


In 2011, she received the Aspen Institute Emerging Voice Award for Cultural Stewardship in recognition of her role in fostering the arts in the Middle East.


Hoda also spearheads a range of initiatives concerning issues close to her heart.  She is a member of the International Leadership Board of the Cleveland Clinic; the Advisory Council of the Arab Fund for Arts & Culture; the International Circle of the Queen Sofía College of Music; and the International Advisory Board of the Edinburgh International Festival. She is also an Advisor to the Board of Directors of Ewa’a Shelters for Women & Children, an Abu Dhabi-based organisation that supports victims of human trafficking.


The daughter of a pioneering Saudi businessman and a Syrian mother, Hoda was born in Beirut, Lebanon.  Raised at a crossroads of cultures, her education took her to The American College of Paris, where she read French Literature and Art History. Hoda 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 business family of the Kingdom of Bahrain, with whom she has three children, Abdul Latif, Noor and Abdul Rahman.

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