Dubai’s runaway Princess Haya is the least of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid’s problems

  • The Dubai ruler’s image took a hit when one of his six wives, Princess Haya, fled to Britain
  • But it was a reliance on credit and a dalliance with Iran that really hurt his legacy – and left him in the shade of big brother Abu Dhabi

Nisha Mathew
July 13, 2019, South China Morning Post

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, the ruler of Dubai, and his wife Princess Haya of Jordan at Royal Ascot in Britain during happier times. (Photo: AP)

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is in a league of his own. His approach to governing the emirate – he functioned more as a corporate chief executive with a knack for investing than as an oil monarch presiding over a tribal polity of loyalists turned citizens – made him an exception in the Gulf. His other interests – he was an acclaimed poet, equestrian, and regular at the Royal Ascot every year – made him a rock star to the West.

That image has taken a huge dent with news last week that one of his six wives, Jordanian royal