In a record for British courts, Dubai’s Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has been ordered to pay his ex-wife and their children a record-breaking $728 million.

The ruler’s UK-based sixth wife, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, aimed to secure the future of her young family – Jalila, 14, and Zayed, 9 – underpinned by a bank guarantee of 384 million dollars.

A spokesman for Sheikh Mohammed said in a statement that the ruler “has always ensured that his children are provided for. The court has now made its ruling on finances and he does not intend to comment further.”

 

How Did The Case Unfold?
Sheikh Mohammed Princess Haya

While the ruling went through in November 2021, the details were made public this Tuesday. Judge Philip Moor said the family needed “water-tight security,” and that “absolutely uniquely,” the main threat to them came from Sheikh Mohammed, rather than outside sources.

Haya, who is 47 and also the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, fled to the UK in 2019. The princess stated that she was ‘terrified’ of her husband – a worrying scenario that has played out with previous female members of the royal family.

According to further British court cases, the UAE government has forcefully abducted and returned two of the ruler’s adult daughters – Shamsa and Latifa, in 2000, 2002, and 2018.

The case gave way to several unconfirmed rumors and statements – one of which was explored in the settlement.

According to court records, Princess Haya said she had paid 6.7 million pounds to four of her security staff who blackmailed her over her affair with a bodyguard, selling jewelry and taking money from her daughter’s bank account to get the funds. This was referenced in a poem published in 2019, allegedly by the Sheikh himself – wherein he accuses ‘a woman’ of betrayal and lying.

No official statement followed this poem – although it stirred up one of the most public scandals the royal family has faced since the 2018 abduction of Princess Latifa, in which the Indian government is allegedly complicit.

Judge Andrew McFarlane presided over the case earlier this year. According to his ruling, the Sheikh used the now-infamous Pegasus software to hack the phones of the Princess and her legal counsel.

As some of the world’s wealthiest people, the private lives of most Arab rulers remains tightly under wraps – except in similar court cases that usually play out in Britain.

Sheikh Mohammed himself is a major player in the world horse-racing trade – putting him in the midst of British high society. He has also made several public appearances as an ally and friend of Queen Elizabeth II – along with the Princess.

Sheikh Mohammed Princess Haya Queen Elizabeth

Haya, like many other members of UAE royalty, was educated at Oxford University. Like her ex-husband, she fosters a fondness for horses – even having participated as a show jumper for Jordan at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

The settlement includes a holiday budget of 5.1 million pounds, an annual sum of just over 450,000 pounds for the children’s staff and around 275,000 pounds for their animals, including two ponies and a horse.

Haya was awarded millions to compensate for property lost when she left Dubai, including 13.5 million pounds for jewelry and what the judge called “the relatively modest sum” of 1 million pounds for clothes.

(Image Sources: EmiratesWoman, Emirates247)