Second Dubai Princess ‘fearing for life’
A wife of Dubai's ruling Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum has fled to London and is reportedly in fear for her life after uncovering "disturbing facts" about the disappearance of her stepdaughter last year.
Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein, 45, is the sixth wife of Dubai's leader, 69, whom she married in 2004 to become his "junior wife".
She is the daughter of the former King of Jordan and half-sister to King Abdullah, as well as an Olympic athlete with a passion for horses who first represented her country age 13.
She is now holed up in an £85 million (A$152 million) mansion in London with her two children aged 7 and 11, in preparation for a legal battle in the UK's high court.
Sources close to Princess Haya have told British media she was prompted to leave Dubai having discovered "disturbing facts" about the disappearance of Princess Latifa, 33, one of Sheikh Mohammed's daughters who fled from Dubai last year only to be returned months later.
In that mysterious and controversial case, the young Princess Latifa reportedly fled the country after enlisting the help of a former French spy, Herve Jaubert. She released a video which she claimed "could be the last video I make."
"If you are watching this video … either I'm dead or I'm in a very, very bad situation," she said from a darkened room in an unidentifiable location. "All my father cares about is his reputation."
She was later tracked down to a boat off the coast of India and returned to Dubai. Authorities claimed she was "happy" and "safe" after being returned, however Mr Jaubert has alleged they were tracked down by special forces and she was returned against her will.
Sources close to Princess Haya told the BBC she "feared for her life" and is worried she could be "rendered" to Dubai from London.
Sheikh Mohammad reportedly posted a poem on Instagram which accused an unidentified woman of "treachery and betrayal," the BBC reports. He has not commented publicly on the matter.
Dubai authorities have also remained tight-lipped, claiming the issue is one for private individuals. There are fears it could lead to a diplomatic stoush and draw in British royalty as both Princess Haya and the Sheikh are close to the Queen given their shared love of horse racing.
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum is the vice president and prime minister of the UAE and Dubai. He has 23 children by different wives.