Child custody verdict delivered in battle between Dubai ruler and ex-wife Princess Haya

She is now preparing for a legal battle in the UK's High Court against her husband.

Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his wife Princess Haya bint al-Hussein attend the World Government Summit in Dubai (photo credit: REUTERS)
Prime Minister and Vice-President of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his wife Princess Haya bint al-Hussein attend the World Government Summit in Dubai
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Verdicts have been given in the latest stage of a legal battle between Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his estranged wife Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, London's Court of Appeal heard on Wednesday.
The court was due to hear a challenge by Mohammed against publication of previous rulings in the case by England's High Court. Princess Haya and the court-appointed guardian of the children supported publication of judgements, the court heard.
Princess Haya Bint, one of the wives of Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, left her husband for fear of her life as she was preparing for an ongoing court battle with the Sheikh.
The princess is now believed to be hiding in a "townhouse in central London," according to the BBC. She reportedly fled to Germany before heading to the United Kingdom in order to escape her restrictive life in the United Arab Emirates.
Sheikh Mohammed has not publicly or officially responded to reports of their marriage difficulties. However, the BBC found that on June 10, using his Instagram account, the Sheikh accused an unnamed woman of "treachery and betrayal."
The custody battle over their two children began in May last year and there have been a number of hearings at London's High Court before the President of the Family Division, Andrew McFarlane, which have been held in private.
The two parties said in a statement in July last year that the case did not concern divorce or finances but was limited to their children's welfare.
Sheik Mohammed has applied to the court for the summary return of his children to Dubai. Haya has asked the court to protect one of her children from a forced marriage and to grant a non-molestation order, a type of injunction that protects against harassment or threats.
"This appeal arises from wardship proceedings in the High Court concerning two children who are at present within the jurisdiction of the Court," Justice Nicholas Underhill, Vice-President of the Court of Appeal, said.
The custody proceedings are still ongoing and there will be a "welfare hearing" at the end of next month, he said.
McFarlane gave a decision last month that the two judgements should be made public.
Princess Haya is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan, and her half-brother King Abdullah II is now the current ruler of Jordan.
She married Sheikh Mohammed at the age of 30, becoming the sixth wife to the Dubai ruler at the time - he is reported to have at fathered at least 23 children spread throughout his marriages.
Haya has claimed that she nor her family have "freedom of choice" in their lives and that she has become a victim of abuse, brought upon by Sheikh Mohammed.
One of Sheikh Mohammed's daughters, Sheikha Latifa, attempted to flee the country in recent years, but was found off the coast of India and taken back to Dubai - authorities claiming that she was  "vulnerable to exploitation" and was "now safe in Dubai."
Haya claimed that it was "unimaginable that [Sheikha Latifa's arrest] has gone so far from the truth."

Reuters contributed to this report.



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