Dubai’s Forbidden Princess

The Princess, The Jailbird

Princess Latifa is the daughter of Dubai’s billionaire ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum. She recently sent out a video from a “secret phone” telling the world how her father imprisoned her in a villa turned jail.

For the better part of two years, the princess has been kept in prison, having access only to a kitchen and her room.
The 34-year-old has also said it isn’t the first time her father has kidnapped one of his daughters.
Considering how intricate the story is, We decided to put it all in context for you below!

Who is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum of Dubai?


Dubai Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum is a billionaire poet, a pilot, Vice president, prime minister of UAE and the emirate ruler of Dubai. After his brother’s passing, He took the throne and has made many changes to the UAE federal government strategy turning Dubai into a Global Hotspot. The Sheikh’s family wealth is estimated to be approximately US$4 billion.

How does the Monarchy in the UAE, Dubai work?

According to custom, the king of Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates president. (notwithstanding holding the title of President, the country is not ruled under a presidential order. The head of state and the leader of Dubai is the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, the administration head.

Who is princess Latifa?

Princess Latifa is the middle daughter of three daughters of Dubai’s billionaire ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum named Latifa. A video of her has surfaced online. She declares she is being kept hostage by her father in a villa converted into a jail in Dubai. Princess Latifa al Maktoum has smuggled a series of haunting videos out of captivity.

Dubai Princess Latifa

What do we know so far?

Latifa is 34 years old and has been missing from the public eye for at least three years. She attempted an escape in 2018, which was theatrical. It involved jet skis and a yacht, eventually ending with her capture and return to her father. On 5 March 2020, a British court ruled that he had abducted two of his daughters on the balance of probabilities and had threatened his former wife, Princess Haya.

What is the Royal Family tree?

The king has 30 children and has had at least six wives. His first wife alone is the mother of 12 of his children, including his Heir. He got married to his first cousin Sheikha Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, a member of Dubai’s ruling family, in 1979. She is the First Lady of Dubai.

What predated this?

August 2000: Her father orders Latifa’s sister Shamsa seized from the United Kingdom.

Latifa states she has been unable to leave Dubai since this day.

June 2002: The adolescent Latifa secures her first escape endeavour but is apprehended on the UAE’s border and returned to Dubai on her father’s commands. She says she was consequently held in prison till 2005.

How did the Escape happen?

2010: Latifa meets Tiina Jauhiainen; they get friendly promptly. The princess later divulges her earlier breakout attempt and what had happened to her sister Shamsa.

2017: The pair begin scheming their Escape with confidential discussions at a Dubai Mall. Former French spy and naval officer Herve Jaubert meet Tiina in the Philippines. Herve had written a book about Escaping from Dubai.

What can be seen and heard in the video?

After eight days at sea, the yacht she was travelling on was boarded by Indian commandos off Goa’s coast, and she was returned to the custody of her father in Dubai.

She said she was trying to sleep on the yacht, but soon she could hear their heavy boots and gunshots. It sounded close. So she locked herself and Tiina in the bathroom. When they tried to move her, she said that she was on international waters and could not force her. She wanted Asylum, but her words were not heard; her hands were zip-tied behind her back. She was okay with losing her life for freedom but not her friend Tiina’s.

She had already been tranquillized twice at this point. She fought so hard that she bit someone, and then she hit her head on the cement. Once she landed, she said there were dozens of people there, and she kept saying, “they’re kidnapping me, HELP!!!” They were military people, but no one helped her. She kicked people in the face, and she was tranquillized for the third time. She struggled valiantly but was soon put on a stretcher and tied up for good.

There is no release date, and she was arrested on 4 March 2018, under section 13. On 27 May 2018, she was moved to the villa, with solitary confinement no medical facilities. The windows are all sealed shut, and she has not been outside since 27 May 2018. she also adds how there are five policemen outside the house and two policewomen inside the house. She has had no sunlight for years.

Why is the princess so pale?

The princess hasn’t been in sunlight for over 18 months, and Vitamin D is a hormone that’s produced when your skin is shown to the sun. Without the proper amount of vitamin D, She could develop health problems, including heart conditions and weakened bones. The princess is pale and sickly looking because of the stress, trauma, and sun lack.

What has been the world’s response to this?

There was an uproar over the princess’s abduction. The video exploded on social media, The UN asked officially asked The UAE for proof of the princess’s life, and UK prime minister Boris Johnson has said he will be personally keeping an eye on the UN investigation. The king has a lot of valuable business in the UK and has been seen with the queen at horse racing events.

“When asked about the allegations today, the PM told Sky News: ‘That’s something obviously that we are concerned about, but the UN Commission on Human Rights is looking at that. ‘I think what we’ll do is wait and see how they get on. We’ll keep an eye on that”.

What is the Free Latifa Campaign?

The free Latifa campaign serves to be a movement that started in March 2018 after the failed freedom attempt by An offical post from the free Latifa website says, “We in the Free Latifa campaign are now demanding what Latifa has fought for, for years: that she be free to travel to a country of her choice, free from torture, abuse and coercion, and be able to associate with whichever friends, advisors and lawyers she chooses. Furthermore, we demand this right of all women in the UAE

The princess deserves freedom and her basic right to live her life the way she wants. Whilst we wish she gets the freedom, she is also living in a country ruled by her father, full of patriarchal views. We can only wait and watch what happens!

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Akshata Narayan

Akshata Narayan is a content writer from Mumbai who writes everything from listicles to poetry. She's about the stars and people, and how sometimes it's difficult to distinguish between the two!
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