Middle East, Top Stories

Teneo to rep Emirati princess’s foundation for $3 million a year

New York communications firm Teneo Strategy has struck a massive deal to represent the foundation led by Emirati Princess Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan through the end of next year.

Teneo is to be paid $250,000 per month for its work on behalf of the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, a major player in the Gulf philanthropic space. Princess Salama is the wife of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, widely considered to be the de facto ruler of the United Arab Emirates.

According to a lobbying registration filed last week by Teneo, the mission of the private not-for-profit foundation is to “invest in the future of the United Arab Emirates by investing in its people.” Founded in 2010, the foundation focuses on art, culture and heritage, health, and early childhood development.

Teneo is to provide “communications and media relations services to the foreign principal, including stakeholder research, narrative development, development and execution of an international communications strategy, crisis preparedness and response strategy development, and media relations support,” according to the filing. The effort will be coordinated with “relevant government officials, organizations, and thought leaders in the United Arab Emirates.”

While Teneo does not plan to lobby the US government, its work “may include communications with members of the US media on behalf of the foreign principal.” The foundation notably commissions the UAE pavilion at the Venice Biennale art exhibition and hosts a public seminar series featuring thinkers and innovators from the UAE and internationally through its Muntada (“Forum” in Arabic) program.

The contract was signed by the foundation’s executive director, Angela Migally, and Teneo CFO Steven Sullivan. The effective date is May 30.

Underscoring the importance of the contract, Teneo has registered no fewer than 10 people on the account, including co-founder and president Douglas Band, the former chief counsel to President Bill Clinton. Also on the account: Faten Alqaseer, Jennifer Clark, John Coster, Emily Johns, Andrew Maas, Robert Mead, Matthew Miller, Padraic Riley and Aaron Zivin.

The registration comes as the UAE along with energy-rich Gulf monarchies Saudi Arabia and Qatar have launched multi-million dollar efforts to reinvent themselves as modern post-oil economies and forward-thinking US allies in the region. Last year, Teneo struck a $2.1 million deal to promote the futuristic Saudi mega-city of Neom, the $500 billion project that lies at the heart of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman‘s plans to transform Saudi Arabia’s economy.