Deputy Director

Deputy Director

Art Jameel is seeking a Deputy Director to join its dynamic team in Dubai, overseeing operations at Jameel Arts Centre, known as Dubai’s contemporary hub for arts and ideas. With a focus on operations, enterprises and partnerships, the role would suit an experienced team leader, ready to apply their entrepreneurial and business acumen to a creative, fast-growing, responsive and impactful NGO with a global programme across learning and the arts.

Jameel Arts Centre opened in 2018 as a dynamic, 10,000-square-metre museum, known as Dubai’s hub for contemporary art and ideas; the centre is funded and managed by Art Jameel, one of the Middle East’s most prominent independent arts foundations, and sits alongside its sister site Hayy Jameel, Jeddah’s home for the arts. The Dubai office at Jameel Arts Centre is also the base for Art Jameel’s global activities and partnerships.

This new Deputy Director position focuses primarily on operations, enterprises, partnerships and development. The role includes overseeing departments devoted to the day-to-day running of the centre in Dubai, including operations and administration, finance and budgeting, in-house and third-party events, enterprises (shop and restaurant), and spear-heading an expansion in development and partnerships, including sponsorship, publishing and consultancy services.

A key member of Art Jameel’s global leadership team, this Deputy Director, Art Jameel (UAE) role follows (and contributes to shaping) the strategy and objectives set by Art Jameel’s Director and Board, and helps nurture a growing, dynamic team and engaged organisational culture. This role joins other senior leaders at Art Jameel across the UAE and KSA, including Deputy Directors who oversee programming.

While this role reports directly to Antonia Carver, Director of Art Jameel; the role holder works alongside Nora Razian, Deputy Director and Head of Exhibitions and Uns Kattan, Deputy Director and Head of Learning and Research in steering the direction of Art Jameel towards achieving it’s mission in the region.

Who should apply:

The role would suit an entrepreneurial, charismatic team player with experience in inspiring and managing a team and running a public-facing enterprise, such as a start-up, SME or cultural organisation. Ideally, Art Jameel is seeking someone able to both manage effectively and increase efficiency behind-the-scenes and also network publicly, to broaden Art Jameel’s base of stakeholders and supporters and ultimately grow and diversify its funding base.

An appreciation of and enthusiasm for the creative industries is required – but candidates do not necessarily need to come with direct experience of working in the arts.


Job Description

Jameel Arts Centre is a flagship architectural landmark and cultural site in Dubai, home to multiple galleries; spaces for commissions, learning programmes and events; the leading public arts library in the Gulf; gardens; sculpture park; shop and restaurant. This role takes on the responsibility of overseeing operations, administration, enterprises, partnerships, sponsorships and consultancy. It ensures that all aspects of the centre run smoothly, sustainably, responsibly, dynamically; in such a way that enables the success of its exhibitions, festivals, programmes and events; and to deliver positive encounters and exchanges for visitors, artists, partners and collaborators.

The Deputy Director directly oversees and manages teams devoted to operations, facilities, IT, administration, enterprises and partnerships, including venue hire, sponsorship, consultancy, shop and restaurant. With the support of the Director and other Deputy Directors, the role has day-to-day responsibility for devising and running budgets and, with the finance team, ensures fiscal probity and strives to increase efficiency and streamline bureaucracy. The role involves liaising closely in decision-making and setting SOPs with local legal counsel and global/local finance teams and oversees the tracking and filing of legal documents.

Collaboration is key: with Art Jameel’s local and global People, Strategy, Communications, Arts and Learning team leaders — in setting the agenda and managing day-to-day the strategic, admin and logistical elements of the programme and associated teams – and with key stakeholders, including government partners.

Art Jameel aims to be the most dynamic, equal-opportunity of employers and at the forefront of HR practices – combining a global outlook with Gulf sensibilities and legal practices; team retention, fulfillment, growth and continual learning and development is of particular importance to us.


Reports to Antonia Carver, Director, Art Jameel

Direct reports

Senior Manager, Operations and IT; Senior Manager, Partnerships & Events; Managers for enterprises, administration, procurement

Responsibilities and duties

Jameel Arts Centre – Leadership, Operations and Administration

  • Develop the annual budget and five-year projections for Jameel Arts Centre, in close coordination with Art Jameel’s Director, Deputy Directors and Senior Managers
  • Oversee budgets related to operations, building, enterprises and capex, liaising closely with finance and other departments
  • Take responsibility for the smooth running of Jameel Arts Centre day-to-day, including building management, facilities, IT, administration, office management, procurement, finance, security, maintenance, capital improvements
  • Update, devise, internally communicate and implement bespoke procedures and policies to respond to Jameel Arts Centre’s operational needs and strive for ever-more efficient, smoother and streamlined processes
  • Oversee setting and maintaining SOPs for legal and finance, including maintaining and updating legal templates, filing signed documents, liaising closely with legal counsel
  • With the Operations and Administration teams, ensure all licenses, permits, insurance contracts and other legal documents are consistently updated and renewed
  • Lead on insurance and risk assessment plus strategies/actions regarding safeguarding practices
  • Contribute to Art Jameel’s sustainability strategy and lead on dynamic operational initiatives to reduce carbon footprint and waste at Jameel Arts Centre
  • Co-lead on creating a positive, inspirational and supportive environment at Jameel Arts Centre for the team, stakeholders and visitors
  • Working with the Head of People and other senior leaders, play an integral role in setting Art Jameel’s culture in the UAE and in maintaining a motivated, informed and happy team and fostering a reflective and reflexive organisation
  • As a member of the senior leadership team, actively promote and integrate kaizen principles (of continuous improvement) into the organisation’s operational practices
  • Contribute to the strategy for developing Art Jameel’s digital sites and programmes and lead on delivering operational support
  • Work with counterparts in the Jeddah office and the global leadership team to encourage and facilitate collaborative, cross-country practices and systems

UAE government relations

  • Liaise with government stakeholders including Dubai Holding and Dubai Community Management (master-planners/owners of the area surrounding the Jameel) to enhance cooperation and support and to develop Jaddaf Waterfront as a cultural destination
  • Take responsibility for all licenses related to Art Jameel activities in the UAE; stay abreast of new legislation – analyse and communicate changes to senior and relevant teams, lead on updates
  • Contribute to broader scope of liaison with UAE government entities to ensure recognition and support for Art Jameel’s UAE-based activities

Jameel Arts Centre development, partnerships and enterprises

  • Oversee Senior Managers and managers devoted to enterprises, partnerships and development, working with them and their teams to increase third-party funding
  • Devise and implement membership and patronage schemes as required; contribute to building strategies and lead on sales for Art Jameel Publishing
  • Set targets and oversee development of venue hire, sponsorship, enterprises (shop and restaurant), partnerships, third party events and other income-generating initiatives designed to support Art Jameel’s work
  • Develop personal and Art Jameel networks across the UAE and beyond, to better enhance Art Jameel’s collaborative mandate; regularly represent the organisation at industry and events
  • Oversee and develop Art Jameel’s consultancy arm, seeking out new opportunities for Art Jameel to contribute to shaping the creative industries in the Gulf and beyond; liaise with clients; work with the AJ team to respond to bids, devise strategies, pricing structures and programmes
  • Ensure the highest quality and impact of AJ’s work and programmes by contributing to evaluation and feedback initiatives, with a special focus on operations, enterprises and partnerships
  • Support the Director in presenting organisational updates and reports to the Board, chaired by Mohammed and Fady Jameel