Dubai Sheikh kidnapped two of his daughters and threatened wife

The ruler of Dubai conducted a “campaign of fear and intimidation” against his former wife, forcing her to flee to London with their two children, the High Court has found.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s sixth wife Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, 45, fled the United Arab Emirates (UAE) last April having become “terrified” of her husband at the beginning of last year.

The 70-year-old vice president and prime minister of the UAE – who is said to be on “respectful and friendly terms” with the British royal family – soon after applied for the summary return to Dubai of their two children, their daughter Al Jalila, 12, and son Zayed, eight.But Princess Haya, the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, applied for the children to be made wards of court, as well as applying for a forced marriage protection order in relation to Jalila and a non-molestation order for her own protection.

She asked the High Court to make a series of findings of fact about Sheikh Mohammed, in particular in relation to the kidnap and forcible detention of two of his adult daughters from another marriage almost two decades apart.

Princess Haya also alleged that there had been a “campaign of fear and intimidation” against her since the start of last year.

In a judgment published on Thursday, Sir Andrew McFarlane, the most senior family judge in England and Wales, found Sheikh Mohammed had “ordered and orchestrated” the abduction and forced return to Dubai of Sheikha Shamsa, then 19, in August 2000 and of her sister Sheikha Latifa twice, in 2002 and again in 2018.

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