From the sounds of the sea, the rhythm of people, the colours of the Gulf and the mystery of the abaya, Najat Makki for as long as she can remember, has been drawn by her senses and emotions to depict the nuances of her environment. As the first Emirati woman to receive a government scholarship to study art aboard, she travelled to the College of Fine Arts in Cairo in 1977 where she obtained her BA and MA degrees in relief sculptures and metalwork. Later, in 2001 she received a PhD.
Often celebrated for her early work in which she used symbols of Emirati culture and heritage, such as saffron and henna. Makki’s later work becomes more abstract. She has passed through several stylistic phases, including realism and abstract expressionism. She has developed a technique inspired by modernism and is related to both her local environment and the human condition. Often known for her focus on the female figure and symbols, in recent years she has created more abstract, layered paintings, distinguishing herself from her peers. She has won numerous awards throughout her career, including the National Award for Arts, Sciences and Literature in 2008.