Abu Dhabi: Two Emirati women have received a prestigious award from the French Ministry of Culture for their significant contribution to the success of the Emirati-French Cultural cooperation.

Hissa Al Daheri and Manal Ataya received the award of “Chevaliers de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres” (Knights of the Order of Arts and Letters) from a top French diplomat on Tuesday, said a press release issued by the French Embassy in the capital.

Ludovic Pouille, the French Ambassador to the UAE, honoured them at a ceremony held at his residence in Abu Dhabi on the occasion of launching the second part of the Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue.

The ambassador said he was thrilled to honour the two women who played a major role with their work in the Louvre Abu Dhabi and the Sharjah Museums Authority in art and cultural dialogue between France and the UAE.

Hissa Al Daheri, who started her career in 2010 in Abu Dhabi’s Tourism and Investment Company (TDIC), was appointed in 2016 as deputy director of Louvre Abu Dhabi and worked on the opening of the museum.

She thanked the leadership of both nations for having the vision for creating an innovative cultural institution, the Louvre Abu Dhabi. “I was privileged with the opportunity to serve to bring this vision to life, and today I am extremely honoured for this recognition,” she said.

Manal Ataya, director-general of the Sharjah Museums Authority, participated in the exhibition portraying “40 years of archaeological cooperation between France and the UAE” in 2017. The exhibition in the Sharjah Archaeology Museum organised in partnership with the Institut français in the UAE / the Cultural Department of the French Embassy with the support of Unesco, featuring more than 100 priceless objects excavated by the French Archaeological Mission to the UAE since 1977.

Manal Ataya said: “I would like to thank the government of France for this monumental honour. It is with my great pleasure and gratitude to serve the UAE.”

She thanked His Highness Dr Shaikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah, for being an inspiring role model to her.

Following the success of Louvre Abu Dhabi opening in November 2017, France and the UAE signed a cooperation agreement that gave birth to the Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue. Its second season was kicked off by Jean-Yves Le Drian, French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development on September 4 in the Louvre Abu Dhabi.