Missing UAE Princess Latifa allegedly held hostage by father

February 18, 2021 | Updated 3:11 pm

Missing UAE Princess Latifa allegedly held hostage by father UAE Princess Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum and her father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Picture courtesy: Wikimedia commons)

The case of the missing UAE Princess Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum has gained more international attention after UK broadcaster BBC released video clips of the Dubai Princess Latifa in which she claims to have been held hostage by her father. The 35-year-old princess is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the hereditary ruler of United Arab Emirates (UAE).

The Princess has not made any public appearance since 2018 after she was detained by Indian commandos off the coast of Goa after she tried to flee her country on a yacht. Latifa’s London-based lawyer recently made appeals to the gulf Emirate to release the Princess who wants only to be free. After the video diaries which shows Latifa pleading for freedom surfaced in the media after nearly three years of detention, international scrutiny around Dubai’s royal family has increased. Recently, UN’s human rights body sought information about her whereabouts, meanwhile, Latifa’s supporters and women groups have all come in support of her release.

Latifa’s father Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is one the richest head of states in the world, is and also serving as the current Prime Minister and Vice President of Dubai. He is often touted as a modern leader who has developed Dubai as a premium investment and tourism hot spot among other Emirates.

Now reports suggest that the British government has asked for proof of her well-being as UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab called the video footage of the 35-year-old princess ‘very ¬≠distressing’. The matter is especially delicate as Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the founder of popular Godolphin horse-racing stable and has friendly relations with Queen Elizabeth.

Kenneth Roth, the Executive director of Human Rights Watch, in a tweet expressed concern about the princess, who has been held hostage in a Dubai villa against her will for over three years. “No matter how much money he pays to race his horses, no respectable race should touch Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed al-Maktoum until he releases his daughter, Princess Latifa, whom he has locked in a “villa jail” for wanting to lead an independent life, ” he said in a tweet.