The divorce between the Vice President of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, and Jordan’s Princess Haya, 47, has begun.
Princess Haya, the younger half-sister of Jordan’s King Abdullah, arrived at a London court on 26 October to demand a share of the Sheikh’s estimated $18 billion fortune. The Princess is being represented by Baroness Shackleton of Belgravia, who has represented Prince Charles in the past.
There will be a ten-day hearing in the High Court to decide the payout for Haya and her two minor children with the 72-year-old Sheikh. Justice Moor will make the ruling.
Details of the hearing remain a secret at the moment, but experts believe the payout could surpass the £450 million settlement awarded to Tatiana Akhmedova (who divorced Russian billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov) in 2017. However, this payout was substantially lowered to £150 million in July, according to The Times.
Princess Haya left Dubai in fear for her life, with her two children, in 2019. She had become suspicious of the stories regarding her husband’s two daughters, Sheikhas Shamsa and Latifa, and when she began voicing her concerns in 2019, intimidation tactics began. Twice a gun with the safety catch off was placed on her pillow, and a helicopter landed in the UK to threaten to abduct her and take her to a secluded desert prison.
The Princess was involved in an affair with her British bodyguard, as well, during this time. The Sheikh divorced Princess Haya on 7 February 2019 – the 20th anniversary of her father, King Hussein’s death – without her knowledge, under Sharia law. Haya said he chose the date to “maximise insult and upset to her.”
In 2020, the High Court, presided over by Judge Andrew McFarlane, published a Fact-Finding Judgement (FFJ) in favour of Princess Haya.
It heard from numerous witnesses and found that the Sheikh was responsible for the kidnap and forced return of two of his daughters – from another wife – to Dubai.
In the end, the High Court confirmed that Sheikh Mohammed abducted two of his daughters and threatened Princess Haya.
The Sheikh had been fighting to keep the judgment secret, but his appeals were denied as the case is of public interest. The Ruler of Dubai was found not to have “been open and honest with the court.”