Dubai ruler whose wife fled to UK asks Supreme Court to grant him secrecy over custody battle

Steve Bird
March 3, 2020, The Telegraph

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum has applied for his two children with Princess Haya to be sent back to Dubai

The ruler of Dubai has launched a last-ditch bid at the Supreme Court to keep the details of his custody battle with his estranged wife, Princess Haya, secret.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, 70, has applied for permission to appeal at the highest court of the land to try to prevent the publication of two judgments containing details of his relationship with his youngest wife.

Sheikh Mohammed, the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, had applied to the High Court in London for the summary return to Dubai of his two children after Princess Haya, 45, fled with them last year to London, apparently “in fear for her life”.

She then applied for the children to be made wards of court, and for a forced marriage protection order in relation to one of the children and a non-molestation order.

The sheikh is now fighting a decision by Sir Andrew McFarlane, president of the Family Division, to allow publication of his judgments.

The Court of Appeal said that Sir Andrew’s two rulings relate to “certain disputed factual issues” and “issues arising out of the special position of (Sheikh Mohammed) as the sovereign and head of government of a foreign state”.

However, the court rejected an application by the sheikh to prevent them being released.

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court confirmed that Sheikh Mohammed had lodged an application for permission to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s ruling.

She added that the application will be referred to three Supreme Court justices – Lord Hodge, Lord Wilson and Lady Black – and that the court is “aware of the urgency of this matter”.