Chief Executive Officer – Confidential – UAE – Competitive Salary

Our client is a newly established not-for-profit organisation committed to preserving, interpreting, and promoting the rich cultural heritage of one of the seven Emirates, that make up the United Arab Emirates.

Its focus will be the management of historical sites situated along the coast, in the desert, and amidst the mountains, showcasing the emirate's historical significance, traditional customs, and cultural practices to both local and international audiences.

Ten priority sites have been identified that will be the cornerstone of efforts, while maintaining oversight of all heritage sites across the Emirate.

The Role:

Our client is seeking an experienced and talented heritage professional to serve as its inaugural Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The successful candidate will be responsible for establishing and leading this new organisation, shaping its direction, strategy, structure, and approach. The CEO will work closely with various stakeholders, including the tourism board, destination marketing organisation, and department of antiquities, to position the Emirate and its heritage sites as premier destinations for visitors and residents alike.


Key Responsibilities:

Organisational Leadership: Provide visionary leadership to the newly formed organisation, driving its mission and objectives forward. Develop and implement strategies to effectively manage, preserve, and promote the emirate's cultural heritage. 

Stakeholder Collaboration: Collaborate with government departments, tourism authorities, and other relevant stakeholders to consolidate heritage activities across the emirate. Foster strong relationships with key partners to ensure alignment and support for the organisation’s goals. 

Strategic Planning: Develop a comprehensive strategic plan for the organisation, outlining short-term and long-term objectives, priorities, and initiatives. Identify opportunities for growth and innovation in heritage preservation and promotion. 

Team Building and Management: Recruit, onboard, and lead a high-performing team of professionals dedicated to advancing the organisations mission. Provide mentorship, guidance, and support to team members, fostering a culture of collaboration and excellence. 

Financial Management: Oversee the financial operations of the organisation, ensuring prudent budgeting, resource allocation, and fiscal responsibility. Seek opportunities for fundraising, grants, and sponsorships to support the organisation's activities. 

Public Engagement and Outreach: Develop outreach programs and initiatives to engage the local community, expatriate population, and international tourists in the cultural heritage of the Emirate. Leverage various communication channels to raise awareness and appreciation for heritage sites. 

Quality Assurance and Compliance: Establish and maintain standards of excellence in heritage conservation, preservation, and presentation. Ensure compliance with relevant regulations, laws, and best practices in the field of cultural heritage management.

The Candidate:

Qualifications and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree in heritage management, archaeology, history, cultural studies, or a related field; advanced degree preferred.
  • Proven track record of success in a leadership role within a leading heritage organisation or cultural institution.
  • Demonstrated experience in strategic planning, organisational development, and team management.
  • Strong understanding of heritage conservation principles, practices, and methodologies.
  • Excellent communication, negotiation, and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively with diverse stakeholders.
  • Knowledge of the heritage sector in the United Arab Emirates or the Middle East region is desirable.
  • Fluency in English; proficiency in Arabic or other relevant languages is an advantage.

 For an informal and confidential discussion, please speak with our advisors at Berwick Partners:

William Pringle

Partner, Head of Charity, Arts, Culture & Heritage Practice

Berwick Partners

+44 (0) 207 518 2635 / +44 (0) 7515 919 648


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