The story of the troubled fate of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum’s immediate family has been updated with new very unflattering material. One of his daughters, Princess Latifah, claims in several videos that she is being held captive in a luxury villa. She attempted to leave the UAE more than two years ago to escape her father’s control, but she was forcibly returned home and, according to her account, sent into captivity. She is not the only member of the Emirati vice-president and prime minister’s immediate family who found life with the sheikh intolerable.
Princess Latifah is not the only child of the ruler of Dubai (and he has 25 of them) and his closest relatives who have to escape from the family. For example, his daughter Shamsa also attempted to flee abroad in the summer of 2000 – she escaped when she and her family were in Great Britain. Later, Sheikh Mohammed’s men found her in Cambridge – they put her in a car and took her to one of her father’s mansions. Soon Shamsa was sent by helicopter to Deauville in France, and from there by plane back to Dubai, where she has lived under surveillance ever since.
“The sheikh has turned the emirate into a glittering city, a place where people go for business and a place that has become the entertainment center of the entire region,” BBC News notes. – For Emirati women, however, life can be extremely cramped because of local laws and customs.”
The head of the Foreign Office, Dominic Raab, called the videos of the princess in the media extremely depressing and spoke in support of the investigation under the aegis of the UN. According to the minister, London is concerned about the situation, but there is little the government can do because the princess is not a British subject.