Dubai's Royal Household is in the spotlight.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum (70), Dubai's ruler, can no longer keep his domestic affairs quiet. Now it's Princess Haya of Jordan, half-sister of Jordan's current king, King Abdullah II who is seeking to divorce him and is seeking a protection order for one of her children in London now. She married him in 2004 and rumour has it that King Abdullah 11 wanted her to marry since she had such a "racy" lifestyle.

The reason for the divorce is not clear, but there are reports that it is something to do with learning the true facts about 33-year old Princess Latifa's disappearance, daughter of Sheikh Mohammed, who who allegedly escaped Dubai last year before being seized off the coast of India by commandos and forcibly returned home that made global headlines. Emirati authorities dismissed the claims at the time as fiction although a documentary on the case has since been made. Princess Latifa continues to speak about her treatment at the Royal Household in Dubai in less than favourable terms.

Another report also maintains that Sheikh Mohammed was unhappy with Princess Haya because she was "sleeping" with her bodyguard, with whom she had been caught in bed. Maybe it is true or maybe it is a false report?

It took me a number of years to learn that the main reason why men can have several wives, but women cannot, is that in this way it is possible to know who the father of the child-to-be is.

When I was living in Dubai there were many rumours about what the Royal Household was like, including the education of the children- of which there are about 23. I went to a school once, near Zabeel Palace, (Pictured) in which there were peacocks and filtered water in the fountain set among pristine lawn and garden.

Here are some recent articles about what is happening to Princess Haya; one from The Guardian, the other from The Jakarta Post, of 31 July.

Ex-Met chief caught up in Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya row

Dubai government legal department is challenging payments made to company chaired by Lord Stevens

Mark Hollingsworth and Owen Bowcott

Thu 25 Jul 2019 10.55 BST (The Guardian, UK)

Lord Stevens, the former Metropolitan police commissioner, has been caught up in the royalfamily dispute between Princess Haya of Jordan and her estranged husband, Sheikh Mohammed of Dubai.

The latest twist in the domestic row is allegedly over payments to Quest Global Ltd, a private risk management and security firm with headquarters in central London.

The company chairman is Lord Stevens, a distinguished senior policemen who led a series of inquiries into collusion in Northern Ireland. Since joining Quest he has conducted investigations into equine doping, corruption in Premier League football transfers and F1 racing.

Documents seen by the Guardian, show that payments made to the company dating back to 2016 are being challenged by the government of Dubai's legal affairs department. There is no suggestion of wrongdoing by Quest.

Princess Haya, the daughter of the former King Hussein of Jordan, is locked in a legal battle with her husband, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai and the vice-president of the United Arab Emirates, over the welfare of their two children.

An audit of accounts controlled by government and entities funded by Sheikh Mohammed "have raised serious concerns in relation to payments made to Quest Global going back as far as 2016", according to a letter sent by Dubai's legal affairs department to Martin Smith, CEO of Quest Global.

Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya say court case concerns their children

Examination of the accounts has resulted in the sheikh's "audit unit" "conducting a full audit of all past payments made to Quest Global". The firm has provided private security for the princess. Five years ago it also cleared the sheikh of having any knowledge of drug-related incidents in the horse racing industry.

The dispute between Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed will be heard in the high court on 30 July and 31 July. She is reported to have fled Dubai and is understood to be living in London in fear of kidnap after the alleged abductions of several close relatives.

The most notorious alleged disappearance involved the 33-year-old Princess Latifa, Sheikh Mohammed's daughter, who allegedly escaped Dubai before being seized off the coast of India by commandos last year and forcibly returned home. Emirati authorities dismissed the claims at the time as fiction.

In 2000, another of the sheikh's daughters, Princess Shamsa, fled her father's estate near Chobham, Surrey. She was last seen in August that year on the streets of Cambridge from where she was reportedly abducted by the sheikh's staff.

Cambridgeshire police investigated the incident. It has confirmed that it reviewed its investigation in 2017 and through into last year. However, a spokesperson told the Guardian: "This is no longer an active investigation as it concluded there was insufficient evidence to take any further action. However, should we receive any new lines of inquiry these will be reviewed."

Quest declined to speak about client matters. Representatives of Sheikh Mohammed in London also did not comment.

Dubai ruler's wife seeks 'forced marriage protection order' in English court

Andrew MacAskill (The Jakarta Post)

London, United Kingdom / Wed, July 31, 2019 / 01:51 pm

The wife of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has applied for a "forced marriage protection order" in England's High Court in relation to one of her two children.

Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, the 45-year-old Jordanian daughter of late King Hussein and half-sister to King Abdullah, also applied for a "non-molestation order," which protects from harassment or threats. It was not clear who this order was in relation to.

At the High Court of England and Wales, she also applied for wardship, which means a child is placed in the hands of the court for major decisions.

A forced marriage protection order helps if someone says they have been forced into marriage or are already in a forced marriage, according to official British legal definitions.

When asked about the court proceedings, an official at the London embassy of the United Arab Emirates said: "The UAE government does not intend to comment on allegations about individuals' private lives."

Representatives of the sheikh did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The Dubai government media office declined to comment on "a private matter that is being resolved in the court".

The 70-year-old sheikh, who is also vice-president of the UAE, wed the princess, a former member of the International Olympic Committee, in 2004 in what was believed to be his sixth marriage. He has more than 20 children by different wives.

Princess Haya, who competed in equestrian jumping in the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, has often attended Britain's Royal Ascot horse races with Sheikh Mohammed.

Princess Haya attended the court hearing in London. Sheikh Mohammed did not. Two of Britain's most famous family lawyers are representing the two parties: Fiona Shackleton is representing Haya and Helen Ward is representing Sheikh Mohammed.

"These proceedings are concerned with the welfare of the two children of their marriage and do not concern divorce or finances," the two parties said in a joint statement issued by the High Court earlier this month.

Last September Amnesty International said Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum, one of the sheikh's daughters by a different wife, was believed to be held incommunicado in an undisclosed location in the UAE after being forcibly returned in March after fleeing Dubai with the help of friends on a boat that was later intercepted.

The UAE foreign ministry said in December that Sheikha Latifa was home and living with her family, denying as "false" media reports citing a widely circulated self-recorded video by Latifa accusing the family of abusing and restricting her.

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Saturday, 24 August 2019