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LONDON — The ruler of Dubai conducted a campaign of fear and intimidation against his estranged wife and ordered the abduction of two of his daughters, a British judge ruled in documents that were unsealed Thursday. Judge Andrew McFarlane also said the sheikh "ordered and orchestrated" the abductions and forced return to Dubai of two of his adult daughters from another marriage: Sheikha Shamsa in August , and Sheikha Latifa in and again in The judge made rulings in December and January after a battle between the estranged spouses over the welfare of their two children, but the sheikh fought to prevent them from being made public. The U.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Dubai Crown Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Wife and Children

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Meet the sons of the ruler of Dubai, who got married on the same day

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On Thursday, March 5, Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division of the high court in England and Wales, released a thirty-four page judgment that blew the lid off the long-suppressed secrets of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum.

The findings are certain to further tarnish an image that has been battered by a series of damaging allegations. McFarlane found that Al Maktoum had kidnapped and drugged two of his daughters, Princess Shamsa and Latifa, after they tried to run away from the royal court—backing up an explosive account provided by Latifa in a video she recorded while on the run in February Among the revelations: Haya had conducted an affair with a male bodyguard in or that enraged her husband and prompted him to begin making threats against her.

Relations deteriorated after Haya learned the truth in early about Shamsa and Latifa. On two occasions that March, Haya found a gun on her bed with its muzzle pointed toward the door and the safety lock off. The sheikh had refused to attend any of the custody hearings, claiming that they interfered with his duties as head of state. Read on for my full investigation of the case, which was originally published here in December, The Royal Courts of Justice, a massive Victorian Gothic structure on the Strand in the heart of London built in the s, is not typically the scene of media frenzy.

But on the gray, chilly morning of November 12, , a cluster of photographers and reporters stood behind barricades, waiting for a glimpse of a reclusive celebrity. At a. Flanked by two bodyguards and wearing a conservative dark green dress, Princess Haya Bint Hussein, daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan and estranged wife of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, strode toward the entrance.

Right behind her came her barrister, Fiona Shackleton, who represented Prince Charles in his divorce from Princess Diana. Sheikh Mohammed had also armed himself with a top barrister, Helen Ward, who represented film director Guy Ritchie in his divorce from Madonna. But, curiously, the sheikh—who had skipped preliminary hearings in July and October—had again decided not to appear. To observers, it was a startling decision by a man with so much to lose, and it was not likely to go over well with Judge Andrew McFarlane, who had imposed a gag order on the proceedings.

Princess Haya refused to share the palace residence with any of the Sheik's other wives. The scene was a far cry from that of April 10, , when Haya, 29, married Sheik Mohammed, 25 years her senior. She was elegantly clad in a white-and-gold-embroidered dress and a sheer white veil, a simple emerald pendant around her neck; he wore a traditional Arab headdress known as a gutra and a long yellow shirt. The wedding had the appearance of a strategic union, yet by all accounts it was a match born of genuine feeling.

The princess and the sheikh had fallen in love, Haya would later say, while participating in the World Equestrian Games at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain two years earlier. The happiness of the royal couple over the next decade is on display in photographs taken of them, often hand in hand and with their children, at a variety of glamorous events, from the Royal Ascot Races in England to the mile Endurance Race at Wadi Rum, Jordan.

It was a privilege she appears to have guarded jealously. She alone among his wives rode horses with him, attended public ceremonies beside him—always without a hijab—and traveled to international diplomatic events, meeting fellow royals around the world. That was then. On June 23, , a website called Emirates Leaks reported that Haya, 45, with the help of a German diplomat, had fled with her children to Germany and requested asylum.

The website further claimed that Dubai had demanded that the German government return the princess and her children immediately, but that Germany had refused. The German government has neither confirmed nor denied the report. By the end of July, Haya and the kids had turned up in London.

In , when she was just 16, she attempted to cross the border into Oman during a riding expedition, and in February there was an escapade worthy of Hollywood that involved crossing into Oman in a car, then continuing via an inflatable dinghy, jet skis, and a yacht named Nostromo. Both times she was captured and returned to her father. Since her latest forced return, Princess Latifa has been seen in public only once, in December The government of Dubai's media office would not comment on any aspect of this story, replying to queries with, "Nobody knows about this issue.

And it may be tempting to dismiss the angst that fueled these royal flights as part and parcel of lives of almost unimaginable privilege. But a seemingly gilded existence can come at a high price. The scandal surrounding Sheikh Mohammed and his family has reverberated across the Middle East—and beyond.

When I flew to Dubai last fall, few Emiratis or expats would talk to me about the Haya scandal or about Latifa or Shamsa , and the expats who did agree to speak did so on condition of anonymity. He is preparing for his succession, and his place in history. Any revelations of family disharmony, or of rebellion from his women, my source tells me, threatens his carefully cultivated image.

The government has taken steps to enforce that silence. Journalists and others interpret this as a lockdown on all commentary about Princess Haya. Even the few critics whom the regime tolerates have been treading carefully.

Abdulkhaleq Abdulla, a political scientist who has taught at Georgetown and criticized Saudi Arabia for imprisoning female activists, is circumspect. If there is one daughter, two daughters, it is not representative of the other And one wife who is running away is not representative of the other five.

Abdulla points out that the lives of princesses are difficult everywhere and that it would be wrong to draw any conclusions about the culture of the Persian Gulf from the foiled escapes of Latifa and Shamsa and the thus far successful one of Haya.

Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum was born in Dubai in , when it was one of seven backward sheikhdoms along the Persian Gulf side of the Arabian peninsula ruled by Great Britain. In the British announced their plans to pull out, and three years later his father, Sheikh Rashid bin Saeed al Maktoum, joined with the rulers of Abu Dhabi and five other sheikhdoms to create the United Arab Emirates.

His teenage son Mohammed was sent to study at Mons Officer Cadet Training school in Aldershot, later part of Sandhurst, and then trained as a pilot in Italy.

At 22 he returned to Dubai to become minister of defense in the newly created UAE. As far as his children were concerned, a source close to several members of the royal family tells me, Mohammed tried to abide by Islamic principles and divided his time equitably among them. Still, he had favorites; he was particularly close to the crown prince, Hamdan, for example, who is, like his father, an enthusiastic horseman and falconer.

It was only a decade later that Latifa was told the truth about her parentage and reunited with her mother. The episode, says one person close to the family, caused a breakdown in trust between her and her father.

The estrangement went both ways. Everything good? Latifa began to plot her own exit, and one day in she slipped away from guards during a horseback riding excursion and, dressed like a Western tourist in jeans and a T-shirt, rode toward the Omani border, led there by an expat she had befriended.

It was in this charged environment that Princess Haya arrived in The tragedy brought her closer to her father, who pampered her and encouraged her independent streak and her love for riding. Still, she apparently always had a fascination for Arab men in positions of power. At one point, the socialite tells me, she became close to Bassel Al Assad, another accomplished horseman who was heir apparent to the Syrian strongman Hafez Al Assad. After her graduation Haya decided to become a professional show jumper, and she spent 10 years training in Ireland and Germany, competing in the Sydney Olympics for Jordan and regularly driving her horses across Europe in a custom tractor-trailer.

In Sheikh Mohammed, Haya apparently thought she had found such a partner. They look like they are leading the country. In fact, the seven Emirates—led by Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the two largest—have some of the harshest male guardianship rules in the world. A liberal family with open attitudes might allow a daughter in the household to marry or divorce outside the strictures of sharia.

But women stuck in conservative households—with no ability to maintain a bank account, travel without permission, marry or divorce freely, or sleep with a man of their choosing—often chafe at the limitations of their lives. By the end, she'd done around 2, jumps. Princess Haya rejected all such controls. From the start she made it clear that she expected equality with her husband, and Sheikh Mohammed, perhaps sensing that he had married up, accommodated her.

She would appear with him at state visits. She would never cover up. Among those who resented the princess, sources claim, were Crown Prince Hamdan and his older brother Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed who died of a heart attack at age 33 in But her new freedom was closely monitored.

Help for Latifa came unexpectedly, in the form of a book. Back in Jaubert had formed a company with powerful local partners in Dubai to construct recreational submarines. Four years later he was accused of embezzlement he insists the charges were false and, with his passport seized and facing arrest, fled in a rubber dinghy to a waiting sailboat, which took him to Mumbai, India.

In , Jaubert published a book about his experience, Escape from Dubai , that included his email address. Later that year Latifa reached out to him and said that she wanted to escape as well. I cannot enjoy my life.

Jaubert instructed Latifa to visit a particular lingerie boutique in a mall her security detail would have to wait by the entrance and then slip out the back for a risky minute rendezvous with one of his female agents to receive documents she would need to facilitate her movements once she reached India. Jaubert advised her to look for an expat in Dubai whom she could enlist in the scheme.

Jaubert and Jauhiainen were held for two weeks then released. There were reports that she had been jailed inside the Zabeel Palace and kept docile with drugs. Much about the saga of Sheikh Mohammed and his princesses remains murky. Jaubert denies the accusation. The judge in London has ordered a ban on media coverage, and Shackleton is staying mum.

Many believe that Sheikh Mohammed would not dare risk the repercussions of trying to forcibly remove from London the daughter of King Hussein and half-sister of King Abdullah.

But at last report, Princess Haya remains in seclusion and is said not to be taking anything for granted. The Scene. Type keyword s to search. By Joshua Hammer. Getty Images Getty Images.

Tim Graham Getty Images. Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. Anwar Hussein Getty Images. Dubai's now iconic Burj Khalifa rises from a heavy fog in Tom Dulat Getty Images. NurPhoto Getty Images.

Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum

On Thursday, March 5, Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the family division of the high court in England and Wales, released a thirty-four page judgment that blew the lid off the long-suppressed secrets of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. The findings are certain to further tarnish an image that has been battered by a series of damaging allegations. McFarlane found that Al Maktoum had kidnapped and drugged two of his daughters, Princess Shamsa and Latifa, after they tried to run away from the royal court—backing up an explosive account provided by Latifa in a video she recorded while on the run in February Among the revelations: Haya had conducted an affair with a male bodyguard in or that enraged her husband and prompted him to begin making threats against her.

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The court made the observation in a fact-finding judgment about the future arrangements of the Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum's two youngest children. A month later, the Emir of Dubai began legal action in the UK seeking the return of the children to Dubai. During these legal proceedings, one of the allegations made by Princess Haya was that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had masterminded the abduction of two of his eldest daughters from another marriage, Sheikha Shamsa and Sheikha Latifa. While Shamsa had been allegedly abducted from the UK in August , the Emir had apparently orchestrated the forcible return of Latifa twice — once in from Oman and then from near the coast of India in The family judge gave a fact-finding judgment which went into the issues that were brought by Princess Haya as being relevant to the determination of the final arrangement for the two children.

Dubai ruler abducted and imprisoned his princess daughters, UK court rules

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Dubai Ruler and Sheikh Mohammed meet in Abu Dhabi

The Queen is reportedly set to shun the ruler of Dubai after a High Court ruling found he kidnapped his own daughters and detained them for almost two decades. Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, and Queen Elizabeth have long shared a bond over their love of horse racing. He has been pictured at Ascot with the Queen, where he was invited into the Royal Box. Sheikh Mohammed was accused of abducting then year-old Shamsa, in August , and sister Latifa twice in and , in a damning publication released on Thursday.

Led by Dubai and Abu Dhabi, the UAE has become deeply embedded in the contemporary system of international power, politics, and policy-making. Only an independent state since , the seven emirates that constitute the UAE represent not only the most successful Arab federal experiment but also the most durable.

This page contains contact details of the UAE Government officials. General H. Stay at home Step out only if you need to get food or healthcare, or if you work in a critical sector Stay 2 metres 6 feet away from others Avoid contact with objects that may have been touched by others Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds Sanitise your hands often Wear simple masks if you are ill, or when taking care of a sick person Clean and disinfect surfaces like countertops, door handles, furniture, toys, phones, laptops, remotes and anything else you use regularly, several times a day Self-isolate if sick; call health authorities when needed Trust information from government authorities only Follow government regulations in this matter. Do not shake hands and do not kiss or hug to greet someone Do not gather in groups or socialise Avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose and mouth Do not spread rumours.

Queen ‘to distance herself from Dubai ruler’ after court rules he kidnapped daughters

He is responsible for the growth of Dubai into a global city , [2] as well as the launch of a number of major enterprises including Emirates Airline , DP World , and the Jumeirah Group. Many of these are held by Dubai Holding , a company with multi-diversified businesses and investments. He also drove the construction of Burj Khalifa , the tallest building in the world. A keen equestrian, he is the founder of the Maktoum family-owned Godolphin racing stable and the owner of Darley , a thoroughbred breeding operation with operations in six countries.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: When Sheikh Mohammed met the Queen of England

The ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has been under scrutiny since allegations emerged in late that the daughters, Sheikha Latifa Mohammed al-Maktoum and Sheikha Shamsa al-Maktoum, had each tried to escape their restricted lives, only to be abducted and returned to house arrest in Dubai, the gleaming financial hub of the United Arab Emirates. The wife who said she had been threatened, Princess Haya of Jordan, fled months later with her two young children to Britain. Sheikh Mohammed is unlikely to face legal consequences. But the stark descriptions of how the sheikh wielded his wealth and absolute power against his own family may prove hard to shake. The men had given her two injections and a handful of tablets, the letter stated, but the judge found insufficient evidence to support that claim, finding only that Sheikha Shamsa appeared drunk during her abduction.

Dubai Ruler Imprisoned His Daughters and Threatened One of His Wives, U.K. Court Rules

She wants their children, 12 and 8, to stay in Britain, where she was educated and has close ties, over fears they could be harmed if returned to Dubai. Princess Haya's lawyers argued Sheikh Mohammed's treatment of his two older daughters showed her children were at risk of being abducted too. Princess Latifa tried to flee Dubai: She left a video to prove it. Sheikh Mohammed attempted to keep McFarlane's judgement out of the public domain. But his appeal was rejected after the court ruled it to be in the public interest. The former has not been seen in public for 20 years and shortly before she herself was returned to Dubai, Princess Latifa claimed in a video published on YouTube that her sister was being drugged. Princess Latifa has only appeared in public once since her abduction. She appeared dazed and confused.

Mar 5, - BEIRUT, Lebanon — A court in Britain has found that Dubai's ruler but the judge found insufficient evidence to support that claim, finding only.

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Want To Catch A Glimpse Of Sheikh Mohammed? Go Here...

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Judge: Dubai ruler threatened wife, had daughters abducted

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The Runaway Princesses of Dubai

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Contact The Prime Minister

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