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Princess Haya outside court in London
Image: Reuters/T. Melville

Princess Haya seeks protection in UK court

July 30, 2019

Princess Haya, the estranged wife of Dubai's ruler, has requested a forced marriage protection order in a London court. The princess is locked in a legal row with Sheikh Mohammed over the welfare of their two children.


Princess Haya bint al-Hussein on Tuesday asked for a non-molestation order and a forced marriage protection order in a London court.

The 45-year-old Jordanian wife of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum also applied for wardship of their two children.

Princess Haya, the daughter of Jordan's late King Hussein, reportedly fled Dubai earlier this year.

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The UK protective orders can be used to help victims of forced marriages and domestic abuse. The forced marriage protective order applied to the children, while the non-molestation order related to herself, the court heard. 

The sheikh's lawyers applied for the children to be sent back to Dubai.

Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya at Royal Ascot
Sheikh Mohammed and Princess Haya often attended the races at Royal AscotImage: Getty Images/C. Jackson

Sheikh Mohammed, 70, married Princess Haya — believed to be his sixth wife — in 2004. The sheikh has more than 20 children by different wives.

Princess Haya, a former member of the International Olympic Committee, competed in equestrian jumping in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. She had often attended Britain's Royal Ascot horse races alongside Sheikh Mohammed.

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Princess Haya was present during Tuesday's hearing in the High Court of England and Wales, but the sheikh was not. He is being represented by lawyer Helen Ward, who acted for Guy Ritchie in his divorce from Madonna. Haya's lawyer is Fiona Shackleton, who represented Prince Charles in his divorce from Diana, Princess of Wales.

The two-day preliminary hearing continues on Wednesday.

It's not the first dispute to rock Dubai's ruling family. Last year, Sheikha Latifa bin Mohammed al-Maktoum, one of the sheikh's daughters by a different wife, tried to flee Dubai on a boat after releasing a video in which she said she had been imprisoned and abused by her family. Amnesty International later said she was being held in an undisclosed location in the United Arab Emirates after being forcibly returned to the country. 

nm/jm (Reuters, AFP, AP)

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