Sheikh Sultan is the Ruler of the Emirate of Sharjah. He had the educational vision to start University City in 1997, which includes the American University of Sharjah, the University of Sharjah, and other colleges. Since, his vision has inspired neighbouring emirates and countries to emulate his endeavour to bring world-class university education to the region. He is known for his philanthropic activities and has endowed chairs for Arabic and Islamic studies in Western universities (e.g. Exeter University). He is a great promoter of the arts and culture, with Sharjah boasting 16 galleries and museums, and he is also an accomplished poet, writer and academic.