Business Insider Edition

The wife of the Emir of Dubai has run away to London, reportedly after learning disturbing details about a failed escape attempt by another princess

Bill Bostock , Business Insider US
 Jul 04, 2019, 08:43 AM
EPSOM, ENGLAND - JUNE 03:  Princess Haya Bint Al H
Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum attend Derby day at Epsom Derby festival at Epsom Downs on June 3, 2017 in Epsom, England. (Photo by Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images)
  • Princess Haya, the wife of Dubai Emir Sheik Mohammed al-Maktoum, has fled, reportedly stricken by new chilling details about the fate of a runaway princess captured last year.
  • The princess is hiding out at her Kensington Palace Gardens townhouse in London, and is beginning divorce proceedings, the BBC reported.
  • In February 2018, Princess Latifa, one of al-Maktoum's 23 daughters fled to India by yacht, but was caught by Emirati commandos and returned. She has not been heard from since.
  • According to the BBC, Princess Haya learnt "disturbing facts" about Princess Latifa's capture, and decided to flee to London, bringing her two children with her.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

The wife of Dubai Emir Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum has fled the country and is hiding in London, reportedly driven away by chilling details about the capture of a princess who tried to flee in 2018.

Princess Haya bint al-Hussein fled to her $107 million (R1.5 billion) town house in Kensington Palace Gardens in mid-June. She is now bringing a case for divorce against her husband, the vice president of the United Arab Emirates, sources close to the princess told the BBC.

She has brought her son Zayed, aged 7, and daughter Al Jalila, aged 11, to London with her, the Daily Beast reported.

That the princess had escaped the royal household was first alleged by senior Jordanian journalist Osama Fawzi on his YouTube channel on June 22.

A spokesman for the UAE government told Business Insider: "The UAE government does not intend to comment on allegations about individuals' private lives."

According to the BBC, Princess Haya, the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan, fled after learning details about the disappearance of one of her husband's 23 daughters last year.

Princess Latifa reportedly spent seven years planning her escape from Dubai, enlisting the help of a former French spy, her Finnish martial arts teacher, and an escape boat flying a US flag to deter pursuers.

The princess, aged 32 at the time, got within touching distance of Goa, 1,200 miles (1,900 km) away on India's west coast, but was chased down by Emirati commandos and returned to Dubai in March 2018.

She has not been heard from since, with activists fearing she has been jailed indefinitely.

In December 2018, the Emirati embassy in London assured well wishers in a statement that Princess Latifa was alive, and "safe in Dubai."

Before she fled Princess Latifa made a video detailing alleged abuse and trauma at the hands of her 69-year-old father. She entrusted the tape to her lawyer, who was instructed to release it if her escape attempt went wrong,

Radha Stirling, the CEO of Detained in Dubai, an advocacy group campaigning for Princess Latifa's cause, said in a statement on Monday:

"Princess Haya has every reason to fear the consequences if she were to be sent back to Dubai. She surely knows, as Latifa knew, that asylum provides her the only safe route out of the royal palace."

"If she was abused, she could not go to the police; if she wanted a divorce, she could not go to the courts."

Sheik al-Maktoum is well known as an amateur poet, and released a mysterious poem this week which alluded to his wife's escape.

A line in "Affection in Your Eyes" reads: "We have an ailment that no medicine can cure, No experts in herbs can remedy this."

Another of the Sheik 's daughters, Sheikha Shamsa, fled the family's English country estate in a Range Rover in 2000 when she was 18.

She was caught, and sent to Dubai.

Receive a single WhatsApp every morning with all our latest news: click here.

Also from Business Insider South Africa:

  • Indicators
  • JSE Indexes

Get the best of our site delivered to your inbox every day.

Sign Up