Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh has been active in Government service and interpreter for the Presidents of the United Arab Emirates since 1968. He is currently a Minister of State in the UAE Government. He was before that the Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation at the Foreign Ministry and the Cultural Advisor at the UAE Presidential Court.
He was appointed in 2018 as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Sorbonne University of Abu Dhabi that he helped in establishing and served on its Administrative Council since the year 2006.
Elected 2020 as Member of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Born in Jerusalem and educated in Jerusalem and the United Kingdom before settling in Abu Dhabi, Zaki Nusseibeh began his career as a journalist in 1967 and worked for the newly established Government of Abu Dhabi Civil Service Department. He then became Director of Information in the Abu Dhabi and, after 1971, the UAE Ministry of Information and Tourism. In this capacity he edited the first English newspaper to be published by the Abu Dhabi Government and participated in establishing its first Arabic newspaper. He also worked as a broadcaster and program producer and helped in developing Abu Dhabi's Broadcasting and media services.
In 1975 Mr. Nusseibeh became the Director of the Press Office for HH the President and subsequently Advisor while continuing his role as the President’s personal interpreter. He was actively involved during that period in the preparation of official State visits and in the formulation of Government briefs.
Mr. Nusseibeh has also served on several public and private bodies dealing with the development of cultural and educational strategies in Abu Dhabi. He was Deputy Chairman of the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority since 2006 until it was amalgamated with the new Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture in 2012, becoming a member of the Board on the new Authority and contributing to the development of some of Abu Dhabi’s major cultural and Art initiatives. He is also a member on several Boards including the Board of Trustees for Abu Dhabi University.
Other positions of responsibility included serving as a Trustee of the Sheikh Zayed Award and the International Prize for Arab Fiction (IPAF or Arab Bookers Literary Prize) since its foundation. He was the Chairman of the London School of Economics LSE Middle East Centre Advisory Board and member of London School of Oriental and African Studies SOAS Middle East Centre Advisory Board, and of the Alliance Française Foundation in Paris. He was also the President of the Alliance Francaise Abu Dhabi and the UAE chapter of the International 'Friends of Richard Wagner' society. He helped in founding the Abu Dhabi Classics program in Abu Dhabi and the Al Ain Music Festival in Al Ain. In 2014 he was also asked to chair the Wagner Foundation in Leipzig, Germany and is a member on the Board of Trustees of the Agha Khan Museum in Toronto and of the Institut du Monde Arabe in Paris.
Mr. Nusseibeh graduated from the University of Cambridge, UK, with a Masters degree in Economics. He has published translations of Gulf and Arab poetry into several European languages and contributed a series of articles to journals and newspapers. He has received a number of prestigious Arab and International Awards that include:
- Abu Dhabi Award (2007)
- Cultural Diplomat of the Year 2017, Abu Dhabi Cultural Summit
As well as the Oweis Cultural Award UAE 2013, the European Academy of Science and Arts Ring of Tolerance in Frankfurt 2012, the Cultural Foundation Pro-Europe European Arab Culture Prize in Leipzig 2013, and the Golden Medal of Arts 2014 from the Kennedy Centre Washington 2014.
He was awarded an honorary PhD in Human Sciences by the University of Jerusalem in 2014 in recognition of his long and active career.
He is married and has three children. His eldest daughter works as a diplomat with the UAE Foreign Ministry and is currently the UAE Ambassador to the UN.
Other Decorations and Awards
- Appointed by presidential decree Chancellor of the United Arab Emirates University
- Grand Officer Star of Italian Solidarity ( August 2007)
- Grand Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria(January 2007)
- Commander of the French Order of Arts et Lettres (July 2008)
- Commander of the French Order of the Palmes academiques (February 2007)
- Commander of the British Victorian Order (CVO) (July 1989)
- Commander of the Order of British Empire CBE (2013)
- Commander’s Cross of the German Order of Merit (2013)
- Commander of the Italian Order of Merit (1983)
- Officer of the French Legion d'Honneur 2015
- Chevalier of the French Legion d’Honneur (May 2001)
- Officer of the Spanish Order of Merit (July 1999)
- Officer of the French Order of Merit (August 1980)
- Medal of Merit to Culture “Gloria Artis”- Republic of Poland (2010)
- Officer of the Jordanian Order of Independence(1969)
This was the award of the European Arab Culture Prize 2013 to Zaki Nusseibeh last night at the Opera House Wagner Bicentenary Leipzig awarded by the Europe Cultural Foundation. Other cultural prizes awarded to Opera singer Vogt, Film star Armin Mueller-Stahl, Design icon Karl Lagerfeld and others.
Leipzig Opera House European Arab Prize 2013.
In the presence of Minister of Culture Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak the German Ambassador on behalf of the President of Germany bestowed this evening upon Zaki Nusseibeh the Commander's Cross of the Order of Merit for promoting UAE-German ties particularly in cultural domains.
At the end of a very successful State visit by UAE President Sheikh Khalifa to Great Britain I am deeply honored for receiving from HM the Queen the insignia of Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire CBE.