Today we sit down with Salma Shaheem, who (without exaggeration) is the classiest and most eloquent lady in town! Resonating with her style, she is the Managing Director for The Fine Art Group’s Middle East operations, which is based out of The Co-Dubai.

Now we know what you must be thinking — what on earth do art advisors do? After spending time in London at the company headquarters to hone her craft, Salma set up the Middle East office. Initially, she was managing relationships with investors who were looking to grow their savings through art. These investors would collectively pool their money into an art fund as an alternate investment to traditional asset classes, such as stocks and bonds.

Over the years, Salma grew the local office to an all-female star team of other equally-drive art enthusiasts. During this time, Salma also pivoted the business. Whilst the art funds had their place amongst ultra-high net worth individuals in the UK, the product-market fit was not there in the Middle East, where the art ecosystem was not as developed just yet. However, having taken the time to speak to clientele out in the market, Salma was able to identify what the market actually needed — which was one-to-one advisory. Now, Salma helps collectors pick art pieces by artists that are right for their unique tastes and styles. These pieces are often “blue chip” art, which Salma classifies as museum-quality pieces.

One coffee with Salma and you’ll be able to tell from the getgo that she’s passionate about being a patron of the arts herself. She’s particularly supportive of up-and-coming artists and is channeling this through the Institute of Emerging Artists, a non-profit that she help set up.

Oh, and top of it all, Salma is a proud new mama to baby boy Dara! She’s a firm believer in women in the workplace and maintaining and family work-life balance. She’ll be back in action from maternity leave soon — so why don’t you say hello to her next time you’re at The Co-Dubai!