Dubai ruler and princess set for legal battle in London next month

Andrew MacAskill
October 8, 2019, Reuters

Jordanian Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, the estranged wife of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, appeared at the High Court in London on Tuesday in the latest round of a battle over the welfare of their two children.

At a preliminary hearing in July, she had asked the court to protect one of her children from a forced marriage and to grant a non-molestation order, a type of injunction that protects against harassment or threats.

The two parties said in a statement at the time that the legal battle was related to the welfare of their children but did not concern divorce or finances.

A full hearing in the case between the sheikh and Haya, the daughter of the late King Hussein and half-sister to King Abdullah, will be heard on Nov. 11 and is expected to last five days.

While Haya attended the preliminary hearing, the sheikh was not present in court. He was represented by David Pannick, one of Britain’s top lawyers.

The judge told reporters that they could say Tuesday’s hearing took place but not give any details of the legal arguments.

The 70-year-old sheikh, who is also vice-president of the UAE, married the princess, a former member of the International Olympic Committee, in 2004 in what was believed to be his sixth marriage. He has more than 20 children by different wives.