Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Estranged wife of Dubai ruler seeks marriage protection order in UK court

The estranged wife of the ruler of Dubai - one of the most high-profile leaders in the Middle East has asked for a forced marriage protection order in a UK court.

Sheikh Mohammed Al Maktoum's wife, Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein, is the third female member of his court to apparently try to run away.

This month she was reported to be in hiding in London and is said to be in fear for her life.

The case began in London on Tuesday.

Princess Haya asked for wardship of her children - with whom she left the United Arab Emirates (UAE) - as well as a forced marriage protection order and a non-molestation order.

Sheikh Mohammed meanwhile applied for the return of his children to Dubai, and also applied for the court to impose reporting restrictions on details about the orders - a request the judge rejected.

Sir Andrew McFarlane ruled there was "a public interest in the public understanding, in very broad terms, proceedings that are before the court".

The princess, who was born in Jordan and educated at private schools in Britain, is an Olympic equestrian and the half-sister of the current Jordanian ruler, King Abdullah II.

She married Sheikh Mohammed in 2004, becoming his sixth and "junior" wife. The 70-year-old sheikh, who is the billionaire owner of Godolphin horse racing stables, reportedly has 23 children by different wives.