Battle of the UK Dubai Royals

The Dubai government was married to Princess Haya in 2004 and has two children. (File)


The High Court in London has ruled that Dubai’s ex-wife’s government should take full responsibility for the welfare of their children, citing “domestic abuse” against her.

The decision marks the end of a three-year prison battle between Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and Princess Haya Jordan.

The following is a timeline of key events related to the case, based on lawyers ’statements and findings made in English courts.

Jun 2000 – Sheikha Shamsa, the daughter of Mohammed and Algerian wife Huriah Ahmed al M’aash, fled her family while on holiday in England. Two months later he was abducted from the streets of Cambridge and taken back to Dubai.

Mohammed al-Shaibani, Director General of the Royal Court in Dubai, was closely involved, according to a High Court judgment.

April 2004 – Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai and vice president of the United Arab Emirates, married Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, the step-sister of King Jordan Abdullah. They have two children, Jalila and Zayed.

March 4, 2018 – Sheikha Latifa, Shamsa’s sister who tried to run away from her family in 2002, tried to run away again. An armed Indian coastguard boarded a boat he boarded 20 miles off the coast of India in international waters. Those on board were taken to Dubai.

It was his second escape attempt, having been detained for three years after his first attempt failed in 2002.

April 15, 2019 – Haya, who had begun an affair with her bodyguard from Britain at some stage in 2017 or 2018, fled Dubai with her two children, for fear for her life.

She later found out Mohammed had divorced her under sharia law on February 7, the 20th anniversary of the death of her father, King Hussein.

Meanwhile, he paid 6.7 million pounds to four members of his security forces who blackmailed him over the affair.

May 14, 2019 – Mohammed initiated legal action in the High Court in London to ask the child to return to Dubai.

March 2020 – After a series of hearings held in private, the reporting ban was lifted to reveal that senior judge Andrew McFarlane had ruled that he accepted as evidence a series of allegations made by Haya.

This included that Muhammad was responsible for the kidnapping of Shamsa and Latifa, and they remained deprived of their freedom. The judge also concluded the sheikh had caused his ex -wife to conduct a campaign of intimidation which left him in fear for his life.

July 2020 – Agents working for Mohammed exploited vulnerabilities in Apple’s iPhone to use Pegasus software created by the Israeli NSO Group to hack Haya’s phone, his British lawyers Fiona Shackleton and Nick Manners, his personal assistant and two of his security forces.

August 5, 2020 – Shackleton was informed by another lawyer that their phone may have been hacked. The same day, Shackleton received an immediate call from human rights lawyer Cherie Blair, an adviser to the NSO and the wife of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, warning that her phone may have been hacked.

May 5, 2021 – McFarlane ruled that “more likely than not” the sheikh was responsible for the hacking.

Jun 2021 – A statement issued by Latifa through a lawyer said she was now free to travel, after pictures of her abroad and at shopping malls in Dubai were posted on social media. Two months later, a campaign group that had been working to free him from Dubai said it would end its work.

October 2021 – McFarlane’s hacking verdict was made public. It was revealed NSO had canceled its contract with the United Arab Emirates as a result.

He also said those working for Mohammed were also trying to buy a mansion next door and facing the Haya farm near the British capital to intimidate him.

London police said they had conducted a five -month investigation into the hacking but had shut it down in February due to a lack of “further investigation opportunities”.

December 21, 2021 – The High Court in London ordered Mohammed to pay 251.5 million pounds to Haya and provide bank bail of 290 million pounds to settle their child custody issue.

March 24, 2022 – McFarlane’s final welfare judgment was published. He said Haya should be fully responsible for the children’s medical care and schooling.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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