Princess Haya attends hearing in London family court

November 12, 2019, DW

A London court has started a closed hearing on a case brought by Dubai Princess Haya against her husband, Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. The Oxford-educated princess had sought protection in the UK.

Princess Haya of Jordan was seen arriving to the Britain’s High Court on Tuesday for the first day of hearings in a case involving members of Jordan and Dubai’s royal families.

The 45-year-old Haya is a half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan and wife to Dubai Sheikh and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. After reportedly fleeing Dubai in July, the princess asked the UK court for custody of her two children. The children are believed to be an 11-year-old girl and 7-year-old boy.

She also asked for a forced marriage protection order for the benefit of the children, and a non-molestation order for herself. The non-molestation orders serve to give legal protection against harassment, threats, or violence by a partner or other family member.

In a July statement, both sides said that the process did not concern divorce and was limited to the welfare of the children. The 70-year-old sheikh has applied to the family division of the High Court for the immediate return of his children to Dubai.

Haya and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at a prestigious Dubai horse race in 2016

Ties that bind Haya to UK

The court proceedings are closed to the public.

The billionaire politician has been married multiple times and has over 20 children with his wives. He was not present at the Tuesday proceedings.

The princess had been educated in the UK and repeatedly visited the country after finishing her Oxford degree. A former Olympic contender in equestrian jumping, she was often seen attending Royal Ascot horse races with her husband. Princess Haya is also believed to have friends among senior members of the British royal family.