Dubai ruler’s wife flees with $39 million, children to Germany; seeks divorce
Dubai’s billionaire ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, whose daughter Princess Latifa fled the country last year only to be captured and returned, has now found himself in a similar situation, except that this time it is his wife who has left the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
According to media reports, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, the sixth wife of the Sheikh, has fled the UAE with a huge amount of cash and her children. She reportedly took 31 million pounds (US $39.3 million) and their two children and is seeking a divorce.
45-year-old Princess Haya is said to have fled to Germany with her son and daughter, according to a report in the British tabloid The Sun. The report said that she has not been seen since February.
She has sought asylum in Germany and has filed for divorce from her husband. Her decision to flee to Germany has sparked a diplomatic crisis with Berlin denying Dubai ruler’s request to return the princess and her two children.
The Sheikh who is also vice-president and prime minister of the UAE had asked authorities in Berlin to return the princess along with son Zayed and Al Jalila, aged 7 and 11 respectively. Not only that his request was denied, but German authorities are also providing security to the princess who is a known face in social and diplomatic circles.
Unconfirmed reports in Arab media say that she was helped by a German diplomat in her “escape” from Dubai.
According to her biography on her website, the princess is the daughter of King Hussein, the former ruler of Jordan, and half-sister of King Abdullah II, the current ruler of Jordan.
The Oxford-educated princess married the Dubai ruler in 2004. According to her website, she is a former Olympic athlete, a humanitarian, a UN Messenger of Peace, a former member of the International Olympic Committee, former President of the International Equestrian Federation and the first Jordanian woman to hold a license to drive heavy trucks.
She is regularly photographed at UN events, government functions and even horse races.
With one of his wives leaving him, it has come as a huge blow for Sheikh Mohammed whose daughter Sheikha Latifa fled the country last year. In March last year, Princess Latifa fled the country by sea but was captured off Goa coast by Indian authorities. She was subsequently returned to Dubai and has not been seen publicly ever since.