In a case of a divorce settlement, the London court has ordered the Dubai ruler to pay a record amount of around £550 million ($730 million) to his former wife and children. The settlement amount of around half a billion is set to become the highest award given by a UK court.
As per reports, the court ordered Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum to pay Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, his former wife and also a half-sister of Jordan’s King Abdullah II, a lump sum of amount £251.5 million along with a bank guarantee of £290 million for covering children’s maintenance and security as adults.
Sheikh Maktoum was also accused by the High Court in October of using spying software and hacking his ex-wife’s phone and the judge had said that the Sheikh had harassed and intimidated his wife Princess Haya both before and after her departure to England. In its written judgement settling the divorce case, Justice Philip Moor stated that the main threat to Princess Haya and her children came from Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, the prime minister of the United Arab Emirate and a close Gulf ally of Britain. The court further stated in its ruling that Sheikh Mohammed had “accepted that his wealth was sufficient to meet any reasonable order”.
In its order, the court said, “I am entirely satisfied that this means that, although HRH (her royal highness Haya) and the children would require security provision in any event, given their status and the general threats of terrorism and kidnap faced in such circumstances, they are particularly vulnerable and need water-tight security to ensure their continued safety and security in this country.” adding “Most importantly in this regard, and absolutely uniquely, the main threat they face is from HH (his highness the sheikh) himself not from outside sources. This is compounded by the full weight of the state that he has available to him as seen by his ability to make use of the Pegasus software, which is only available to governments.”
Notably, the Sheikh had earlier planned the kidnapping of two of his children, Princess Latifa and Princess Shamsa and forced them to remain in Dubai. Latifa alleged that she was held hostage by the Sheikh.
Also, the High Court ruling in 2020 stated that the Dubai ruler had subjected Princess Haya to a state of fear and intimidation forcing her to flee to London.
Princess Haya now lives with two of her other children in a house near Kensington Palace located west of London which she inherited from the late King Hussein of Jordan. Princess Haya married Sheikh in 2004 which was his second official marriage. As per the court judgment, Sheikh had divorced Princess Haya under Sharia law in 2019 without her knowledge.