By: Steve Dellar | 05-07-2018 | News
Photo credit: Sven Hasche |

UAE - Questions Arise Over Whereabouts Of Dubai’s ‘Runaway Princess’

There was a rumor in Monaco just before the wedding of current ruler Prince Albert that the ‘bride to be’ had found out about the many illicit children of her future husband and therefore tried to flee the country, only to be stopped at Nice’s airport and driven back to the principality in time to attend her own wedding. It’s a rumor, but a strong one.

Rumors about runaway princesses are always great for gossip columns, but this latest one coming from Dubai is possibly going to break international headlines now that Human Rights Watch, the New York based NGO, declared that the failure of Dubai’s leaders to disclose the status of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammad al-Maktoum, 32-years-old, known in the UAE as the ‘runaway princess’, could “qualify as an enforced disappearance, given the evidence suggesting that she was last seen as UAE authorities were detaining her.”

Sheikha Latifa, the daughter of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, became famous when she announced in a video earlier this year that she would be leaving the emirate because of the restrictions imposed on her by her own family.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Washington Post: India’s Prime Minister <a href="">@narendramodi</a> authorized the capture of runaway Princess Latifa and sent her back to her tyrant father, ruler of Dubai <a href="">@HHShkMohd</a>, despite Latifa claiming asylum and begging not to be returned to torture. <a href=";ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#HelpLatifa</a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; Kim Dotcom (@KimDotcom) <a href="">April 28, 2018</a></blockquote>

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Together with some friends, she tried to escape Dubai with a yacht owned by a Frenchmen but was forced to return when the Indian Coast Guard conducted a raid on the vessel, in apparent close coordination with UAE authorities.

Human Rights Watch stated: “A witness told Human Rights Watch that UAE authorities intercepted Sheikha Latifa on March 4, 2018, as she tried to flee by sea to a third country, and returned her to the UAE.”

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr"><a href=""></a> Concerns are growing that a Dubai princess is the victim of an &quot;enforced disappearance&quot; after attempting a dramatic escape from her family. Human Rights Watch (HRW) has urged authorities in the United Arab Emirates to … … <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; MacMadison News (@MacMadison_News) <a href="">May 5, 2018</a></blockquote>

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“If she is detained, she needs to be given the rights all detainees should have, including being taken before an independent judge.”

Finnish national Tiina Jauhiainen said that she was amazed the Indian coast guard seemingly took orders from UAE authorities, even though the group was already sailing in Indian waters at that time. Miss Jauhiainen returned to Finland at the demand of UAE authorities who claimed she was no longer welcome int eh country and the yacht’s owner, French-American former naval intelligence officer Mr Herve Jaubert, was ordered to leave the UAE along with the boat’s crew.

The UAE, a key US ally in the region, has been criticized for its handling of the matter, but just as other Gulf states, it does not comment on ruling family members, senior officials or policy.


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