Who is Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and why has she fled Dubai?

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A DIPLOMATIC crisis has apparently been sparked between Germany and the United Arab Emirates after Princess Haya reportedly left her husband – who rules Dubai – in fear of her safety.

But who is Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and why has she left Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum?

Where is she now? Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein attends Ladies Day, Royal Ascot back in 2013
Getty – Contributor

Who is Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein?

Princess Haya is the second wife of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – Prime Minister and ruler of Dubai.

The 45-year-old is the younger half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan.

She was educated at Oxford University, and represented Jordan at the Sydney Olympics in 2000, in showjumping.

In 2004, Princess Haya married Sheikh Mohammed – who founded Britain’s biggest racing stables, Godolphin.

According to her official website, “sport has been a dominant part of life for Princess Haya since childhood.

“Having experienced the power of sport in her own life, she works tirelessly to give others, especially young girls, a similar experience.”

Showjumping remains a strong passion, with the royal being a former president of the International Equestrian Federation, and a member of the International Olympic Committee.

Her website explains that she has “been motivated by the belief that sport improves lives, empowers women and breaks down barriers between people and nations.”

The couple, pictured in 2013 at the 10th Arab Investment and Capital Markets conference, Beirut
AFP

Apart from being involved in humanitarian work, Princess Haya is also the vice-president of the Royal Windsor Horse Show and, up until recently, was regularly photographed at this and other major events on the racing calendar.

In an interview with Emirates Woman three years ago, Princess Haya said that she “always wanted to be a journalist” as she’s “passionate about newspapers and magazines”.

She spoke glowingly about her two children, daughter Sheikha Al Jalila, and son Sheikh Zayed, who apparently “loves the desert” and “everything that papa does”.

Princess Haya told the website that Sheikh Mohammed built up a resistance to scorpion stings from a young age, as elders in the tribe purposefully had him and other kids stung to increase their resilience.

She explained: “They weren’t deathly, but Sheikh Mohammed was always waking up finding scorpions in his bed.”

Emirates Woman described her as having a “sparkle in her eyes when she talks about her husband, and her admiration for him and her children is palpable”.

Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum attend Derby day at Epsom on June 3, 2017
Getty – Contributor

Why has she left Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum?

It’s not clear, as yet, why Princess Haya has allegedly left her husband.

But, it’s understood that she has taken £31million to start a new life, requested asylum, and filed for divorce.

The Times reports that she is said to have been granted permission to remain in Germany with the couple’s children.

However, a mystery remains as to her precise whereabouts, as she’s not been seen in public since the second half of last month, and the royal did not accompany her husband at Royal Ascot in June.

Authorities in Dubai, the UAE federal government and Germany have declined to respond to questions about reports of her disappearance.

But, The Times says, no one has denied them.

Princess Haya is said to have told friends she chose to flee to Germany as she “didn’t trust UK authorities to hand her back”.

It is another blow to the Sheikh, after it was claimed last year that one of his daughters, Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum, was being kept in Dubai.

She has not been seen since trying to flee the family’s £75million estate in Surrey in 2000, aged 19.

Relatives say Sheikha Latifa is “safe” in Dubai.

How has the Sheikh reacted to his wife’s disappearance?

He is said to have asked authorities in Berlin to return the princess, son Zayed, seven, and daughter Al Jalila, 11, to the UAE.

But they have refused and security officials are said to be protecting her.

This has sparked a diplomatic crisis between Germany and the UAE.

Since Princess Haya disappeared, Sheikh Mohammed has written two poems, in English and Arabic, alluding to her loss.

In one, ‘Affection in Your Eyes’, posted on his poetry website, he appears to lament her fleeing the family home.

He writes about noticing “reproach” in the other person’s eyes in his poem, assumed to be addressed to his wife.

A “fatal arrow” has “pierced my soul and left me insane”.

But, he pleads, “Let the past be; soften your heart, Forgive my mistakes, and reward my good deeds.”

Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed at Royal Ascot in June 17, 2016
Getty – Contributor

 

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