Three princesses in Dubai’s mega-rich royal family have fled the glittering realm of the powerful, but secretive Sheikh al Maktoum. Here’s why.
First it was Princess Shamsa, then Princess Latifa and last month Princess Haya fleeing lives of luxury and untold wealth enjoyed by Dubai’s royal family.
The domain of powerful, multi-billionaire ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai is the jewel in the crown of The United Arab Emirates.
The glittering oil rich realm is a playground of luxury shopping, stunning ultra-modern architecture, resorts and a lively night-life.
But first one, then two and now three of its princesses have tried to flee the feudal kingdom.
The first two princesses — both daughters of the Sheikh — were dragged back, with Shamsa reportedly imprisoned in the almost two decades since to keep her silence.
The latest to escape is the Sheikh’s wife, Princess Haya who fled Dubai last month with her two young children, aged seven and 11, seeking asylum in London.
The university educated, glamorous 45-year-old fled Dubai with $56m and is living in the Dubai royal family’s $150m mansion, with heavy security, across the road from Kensington Palace.
Brewing in the British courts now is one of the biggest royal divorces the world has ever seen.
Princess Haya reportedly escaped via private jet to Germany, helped by foreign diplomats.
Channel 9’s 60 Minutes has interviewed an insider to spill the beans on what is going wrong in the cloistered world of this most secretive of the world’s royal families.
Himself a member of Dubai’s royal clan, Marcus Essabri also had to flee the regime and says if he hadn’t he might not have survived.
A royal cousin, Marcus grew up as a girl named Fatima, and only transitioned to a man 10 years ago.