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United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
United Arab Emirates' Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.
Image: AP/PA Images

'Missing' Dubai princess not seen since March reappears in photos with Mary Robinson

She failed in her attempt to flee the UAE in March.
Dec 24th 2018, 1:40 PM 114,930 50

A DUBAI PRINCESS who was last seen in March as she was forcibly removed from a boat following a failed escape has been photographed for the first time alive and well with former president Mary Robinson.

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum is the daughter of Dubai’ ruler and prime minister. The 32-year-old hadn’t been seen or heard from in public since March. 

Maktoum announced in a video published in March she was fleeing the emirate. She managed to get herself onto a yacht in the Indian Ocean but this vessel was intercepted and she was removed back to Dubai.

Human Rights Watch urged the Dubai authorities to reveal the whereabouts of the princess, saying her case could constitute “enforced disappearance”.

A source close to the Dubai government has said only that Latifa was indeed brought back to Dubai and was “with her family” and “doing excellent”.

But accounts by people involved in the escape who spoke with AFP suggest an aggressive campaign to recapture the princess after she slipped over the border into Oman and punish those who helped her.

Her case has since been taken up by the UK-based advocacy group Detained in Dubai, which has alerted the UN’s human rights commission.

But a statement released today by the United Arab Emirates’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation appears to show the princess in good health and eating with former Ireland president Mary Robinson. 

A statement from the UAE read: “On 21st December 2018, the UAE Mission in Geneva delivered a communique regarding Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum to the Office of Special Procedures at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. The communique responds to and rebuts false allegations and provided evidence that Her Highness Sheikha Latifa was at home and living with her family in Dubai,” the statement said.

“At the request of the family, on 15th December 2018, Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland, met with Sheikha Latifa in Dubai.

“Photographs taken during the afternoon they spent together have been shared, with their consent. During her visit to Dubai, Mary Robinson was reassured that Sheikha Latifa is receiving the necessary care and support she requires.”

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Garreth MacNamee

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