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Sharjah Museums Department, British Council Host "Gulf Museum Management" Seminar











Sharjah Museums Department and the British Council are organising a seminar on "Gulf Museum Management" to be held from 10 to 12 March. The three-day seminar, held at the Sharjah Museum of Islamic Civilisation, is the third in a series of successful British Council seminars in the Gulf designed to facilitate museum development.

The seminar focuses on four key themes, including the relevance and importance of museums in contemporary Gulf society, attracting new and younger museum audiences, developing local, regional and global partnerships, and upgrading the skills of museum staff. The Gulf Museum Management seminar also aims to boost the institutional capacity of museums in the region and increase collaboration.

Speakers at the Gulf Museum Management seminar include Manal Ataya, Director General, Sharjah Museums Department; Alec Coles, Director of Tyne & Wear Museums; Sally MacDonald, Director, Museums and Galleries, University College London; and Peter Williamson, Director of Operation, National Museums Scotland. Seminar delegates will include staff from museums in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Sharjah) and Yemen.

Ms. Manal Ataya said the seminar is a valuable opportunity for local government departments, academics, civic groups and individuals interested in heritage protection and museum management. "Sharjah has always played a central role in preserving and showcasing culture and heritage, particularly Arab and Islamic heritage, for future generations. We are confident this seminar will help us deliver on this great responsibility and allow us to learn from our peers across the region and the world."

Michel Bechara, Project Director, British Council UAE, said: "Around 30 museum professionals in the Gulf will attend the seminar and, unlike our two previous seminars, this event will be aimed at future leaders – current junior or middle managers, who have the potential to be leaders within the next five to ten years. The programme content is also delivered in Arabic and so we have been able to widen access to the seminar beyond English speakers."

"During the three days of the seminar, the delegates will discuss ways of increasing and broadening museum audiences in the region, how to develop and maintain relevant partnerships, and consider how best to train and motivate staff. The seminar delegates will also have an opportunity to visit the "Lure of the East" exhibition at the Sharjah Art Museum, and the Sharjah Archaeology Museum," added Bechara.

Previous Gulf Museum Management seminars were held in Bahrain in 2006 and Oman in 2008.

For more information on British Council, please visit the website www.britishcouncil.org/me, and for more information on Sharjah Museums Department, please visit the website www.sharjahmuseums.ae.

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