UCA’s Honorary Doctorates
take the stage

Every year at our graduation ceremonies we are privileged to be able to bestow Honorary Doctorates on some of the leading lights of the creative industries. And this year, we honoured four incredible people who have used their creativity and influence to push the boundaries of their respective fields.

06 Jul 2023

Above, Remo Ruffini receiving his Honorary Doctorate from UCA President and Vice Chancellor, Professor Bashir Makhoul

Here, we share the biographies that featured in our graduation ceremony brochures, showcasing the talents and achievements of our Honorary Doctorates of 2023.

Sheikha Hoor Al Qasimi

As a catalyst and advocate for the arts in the United Arab Emirates, the region, and around the world, UCA is delighted to bestow the honour of Honorary Doctorate to Hoor Al Qasimi, President and Director of Sharjah Art Foundation.

An artist and curator, Hoor has had a long career in bringing art to the people, through organising exhibitions, bringing her expertise to various organisational boards and committees, including MoMA New York and Berlin International Film Festival Berlinale Shorts, and through the establishment of the Sharjah Art Foundation in 2009.

Hoor Al Qasimi at graduation


She has held the position of Sharjah Biennial Director for 20 years, and since 2017 has been President of the International Biennial Association (IBA), that transferred IBA’s headquarters to Sharjah. She is also President of The Africa Institute, and President and Director of the Sharjah Architecture Triennial.

But it’s her work with the Sharjah Art Foundation which is making waves in the art world.

With a passion for supporting experimentation and innovation in the arts, Hoor has continuously expanded the scope of the Foundation to include major international touring exhibitions; artist and curator residencies in visual art, film, and music; commissions and production grants for emerging artists; publications and publication grants; performance and film festivals; architectural research and restoration; and a wide range of educational programming in Sharjah for all age groups.

You can find out more about Hoor Al Qasimi and the Sharjah Art Foundation’s work at https://sharjahart.org

Remo Ruffini

UCA is delighted to welcome Remo Ruffini into its ranks of esteemed honorary doctorates, for his extensive contribution to the fashion industry.

Remo Ruffini at graduation

Remo Ruffini is the Chairman and CEO of Moncler S.p.A. Born in Como, Italy, he has always had a great appreciation for creativity and sophisticated design, something he has developed as a distinctive trait across his career.

In 2003, Ruffini took the helm of Moncler, the legendary brand specialising in down jackets, undertaking a global brand reset that, while always remaining faithful to its roots, elevated it to a luxury positioning.

With his unique talent for brand vision, Ruffini soon left his hallmark with an integrated strategy leveraging on a multifaceted, constantly evolving, creative sensitivity. The company was floated on the Milan Stock Exchange in December 2013.

In 2018, Ruffini’s vision and ability to disrupt the traditional codes led to the launch of Moncler Genius.  Pioneering collaborations with different creative minds, Genius redefined the brand’s relevance in the digital era, introducing constant engagement with its community through monthly editorial projects and collection launches. In 2023, Moncler Genius evolved into a platform for co-creation, teaming up with partners from multiple industries spanning art, design, music, sport and culture and bringing a new energy to the brand and a new meaning to the world of luxury.

Today, Moncler is recognized a reference not just for the world of luxury, but also as one of the most iconic and inspirational brands around the globe.

In his pursuit of bringing luxury and fashion beyond the established codes, in December 2020, Moncler announced the acquisition of Stone Island, and the creation of the Moncler Group.

Awards & Recognitions

  • In 2018, Ruffini was appointed “Cavaliere del Lavoro” by the President of the Italian Republic.
  • In 2019, Ruffini was awarded the “Guido Carli Award” recognising Italian excellence in the sector of economy, finance, and culture in a ceremony at the Senate Chamber.
  • In 2019, Ruffini was awarded “Business Leader” at the British Fashion Awards in London.

Raza Jafar

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Raza Jafar has a lifetime of achievements already. But, never one to rest on his laurels, he is aiming high with his latest projects.

UCA is delighted to name Raza an honorary doctorate for his work in trying to achieve Goal 8 of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals – covering sustainable economic growth, job creation, and youth unemployment with a main focus on ending modern-day slavery.

Raza Jafar at graduation

He aims to achieve this by the establishment of the Global Sustainability Network (GSN) in 2015, bringing together more than 1,500 leaders in faith, government, business, media, and non-profit organisations.

Alongside this important work, Raza has established THB Global (The Health Bank), a health management company that focuses on excellence in health care through combining health tech with quality care. His previous entrepreneurial ventures cover banking, insurance, aviation, real estate development – including Palazzo Versace Hotel and Emirates Financial Towers in Dubai - and hospitality management.

Her Royal Highness Princess Lamia Bint Majed AlSaud

UCA is delighted to honour the philanthropic work and creative talent of Her Royal Highness Princess Lamia Bint Majed AlSaud, with an Honorary Doctorate at this year’s academic award ceremonies.

Her Royal Highness Princess Lamia Bint Majed AlSaud at graduation

HRH Princess Lamia is the Secretary General and member of the Board of Trustees at Alwaleed Philanthropies, a Saudi Arabian philanthropic organization with a mission to build the bridges necessary for cultural understanding, community development, female and youth empowerment, disaster relief in times of crisis, and clean energy around the world.

The daughter of HRH Prince Majed bin Saud, the son of King Saud bin Abdulaziz AlSaud, Princess Lamia became Secretary General in April 2016, having previously served as Executive Manager of Media & Communication at the Foundation. During her tenure she has been recognised internationally through several landmark awards, including the Achievement in Philanthropies Award at the Arab Women of the Year 2017 and the Baden Powell Fellowship pin, awarded by the World Scout Foundation.

HRH Princess Lamia also holds a number of roles and leading positions across global organizations, including Honorary Advisory Board Member at the 8th Annual GCC GOV HR Summit 2020; UN-Habitat Regional Goodwill Ambassador for Arab States; Global Champion for gender equality with the UN Women; and member of the Generation Unlimited Champion Committee with UNICEF.

Prior to joining Alwaleed Philanthropies, HRH Princess Lamia founded the publishing company Sada Al Arab, in Cairo, Beirut, and Dubai. She is also an esteemed novelist, publishing Children and Blood in 2010.  The book tackles the complexities of honour killings and the harsh realities faced by women in the Middle East.