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Dubai ruler, wife in London court battle over children

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(FILES) A file photo taken on February 11, 2018 shows Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum (L), Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai, and his wife Princess Haya bint al-Hussein are seen on stage during the opening of the World Government Summit in Dubai. – Princess Haya, the estranged wife of the ruler of Dubai, has applied for a forced marriage protection order, a London court heard on July 30, 2019, during a case about their children’s welfare, Britain’s PA news agency reported. (Photo by KARIM SAHIB / AFP)

The ruler of Dubai and one of his wives began a court battle in London on Tuesday over their children’s welfare.

A wife of United Arab Emirate (UAE) Prime Minister and Dubai’s billionaire ruler, Sheikh Mohammed Al-Maktoum, on Tuesday, arrived at a London court to begin a legal battle over her two children.

British media photographed Princess Haya, 45, arriving for the two-day case management hearing at the family division of London’s High Court.

The court began by considering reporting restrictions on the case, The Telegraph reported.

Oxford-educated Princess Haya is the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan.

She has spent much of her time in Britain, where she and her husband have extensive horse-racing and property interests, and counts senior British royals among her friends.

Rights activists with close ties to Princess Haya’s family said earlier this month that she had recently fled to Britain from Dubai.

The BBC cited unidentified “sources close to her” as saying she had “discovered disturbing facts” behind the alleged kidnapping in 2018 of Sheikha Latifa, one of her husband’s adult daughters by another wife.

Tiina Jauhiainen of the Free Latifa campaign said the reported flight and custody battle of Princess Haya was “very significant in terms of a major protest against the oppressive regime of the Crown Prince by his own wife’’.

Al Maktoum, 70, reportedly has three wives.

“He is believed to have more than 30 children in total,’’ Jauhiainen said.

He has personal assets valued at some $12 billion, Forbes reported last month.


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