Runaway royal: Dubai ruler's wife Princess Haya 'seeks refuge in London' after fleeing 'abusive husband'

Runaway royal: Dubai ruler's wife Princess Haya 'seeks refuge in London' after fleeing 'abusive husband'
Princess Haya of Jordan, who allegedly ran away from her husband and ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has launched a legal battle against the Emirati royal in a UK court, according to media reports.

Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan and sister of the current Jordanian king, has reportedly taken her case to a high court in London after fleeing her allegedly “abusive” husband last week.

The Jordanian royal has applied for asylum in the UK where she has links with authorities and owns an £85 million house near Kensington Palace, The Guardian reported. Princess Haya also regularly visits the UK for the annual Ascot equestrian event, which she failed to attend for the first time this year.

She studied in the UK where she obtained a philosophy, politics and economics degree at the prestigious Oxford University. 

On Friday, Legal advocacy group Detained in Dubai said Princess Haya had fled her abusive husband.

The group’s CEO, Radha Stirling, said they have received reports from sources close to the Jordanian and Emirati governments, that indicate the Emirati princess had escaped to Germany.

“We already know that Princess Latifa, Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter, fled the UAE seeking asylum and alleging unspeakable abuse at the hands of her father. Now, it seems, Princess Haya, Sheikh Mohammed’s wife, has also fled the country and sought refuge in Germany,” Stirling said.

“Obviously, this raises serious questions as to what prompted her to flee … She is, after all, a free adult woman, and the sister of the King of Jordan; yet apparently, she feels unsafe.”

The princess, who married into the Al Maktoum dynasty in 2004, reportedly fled with her son Zayed, 7, and daughter Al Jalila, 11, and are allegedly seeking to eventually move to London, according to The Daily Beast.

Rumours of Haya’s escape were first aired by website Emirates Leaks on June 23, which alleged she fled with the help of a German diplomat. German authorities have not confirmed any of the claims.

The Emiratis have allegedly made private requests to return the runaway royal to the UAE, though the UK’s Foreign Office is dealing with the case as a private dispute.

The princess is believed to be concerned about her personal safety in the UK, The Guardian reported.

Sheikh Mohammed is ruler of Dubai and prime minister of the UAE, as well as being among the world’s wealthiest individuals.

Last week, the Dubai ruler seemed to blast his wife in an angry poem on Instagram as rumours of her escaping his abuse to Germany with her children began to circulate.

In an Instagram post, al-Maktoum, known for his poetry, wrote a furious poem titled “You Live And Die”, thought to be an attempt to condemn the princess for leaving him.

“Some mistakes are known as betrayal, and you have transgressed and betrayed,” the poem begins.

“You traitor, you betrayed the most precious trust, you exposed your games and nature,” he adds in the piece.

The royal then continues to accuse his wife of lying, suggesting the claim was backed by evidence. 

“You no longer have a place within me, go to who has kept you occupied,” he wrote, ending with “I do not care whether you live or die”.

While the subject behind the poem was not disclosed by al-Maktoum, the tone suggests it was addressed to a woman who had betrayed him.

The poem has since been deleted, however there is no confirmation to suggest the royal was himself responsible for the post.

A spokesperson for the UAE embassy said: “The UAE government does not intend to comment on allegations about individuals’ private lives. As for whether it has raised such an issue with its German or British counterparts, the answer is no,” The Guardian reported.

Lawyers for Sheikh Mohammed declined to comment about the case, it added.

Runaway daughter

But Princess Haya is not the first total to flee the al-Maktoum dynasty in recent years.

Sheikh Mohammed’s daughter, Latifa, allegedly attempted to flee the kingdom in a high-profile saga in April 2018, after releasing a video detailing years of horrific abuse and torture she suffered at the hands of her father and the Emirati authorities.

Latifa’s friends and supporters say commandos stormed a boat she was using to flee to India.

Latifa has been seen only once since, in a photo with former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson who visited the Al Maktoum family residence in December 2018, which critics called a PR stunt.

Princess Haya also appeared in the photo op, which Stirling says “damaged [her] standing in the human rights community”.

“While we cannot speculate, Haya undoubtedly has witnessed, or experienced firsthand, the types of mistreatment alleged by Latifa, and decided to get out,” Stirling added.

She also said that strong economic ties between UAE and Jordan may have prevented Haya from fleeing to her home country, which would have put pressure on her brother to send her back to the UAE.

Various reports over recent years point to the extent of torture and human rights abuses in the wealthy Gulf kingdom. 

Women from neighbouring Saudi Arabia have been making high-profile appeals for asylum in recent months, the latest being sisters Dua and Dalal who fled to Turkey earlier this month after escaping alleged rape, forced marriage and abuse from their relatives.


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