Dubai ruler ordered to pay ex-wife Princess Haya over $728 million in royal divorce case

The UK’s High Court on Tuesday awarded a lump sum settlement of £251.5 million to Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussain, the 47-year-old daughter of Jordan’s former King Hussein.

She is the youngest of six wives of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum – the multi-billionaire ruler of Dubai, prime minister of the UAE and influential horse-racing owner.

The judgment provides Princess Haya with sums to cover the cost of running two multi-million pound properties, one next to London’s Kensington Palace, as well as her main residence in Egham, Surrey.

There is also provision for a substantial “security budget” as well as holidays, salaries and accommodation for both a nurse and a nanny, armoured vehicles for the family, and the cost of maintaining various ponies and pets.

It has also awarded secured payments of £5.6 million-a-year to each of her two children, a 14-year-old daughter and a nine-year old son. These are to be secured with a £290 million guarantee.

This long-running court custody battle has thrown a spotlight on the normally closed world of Middle Eastern royal families.

Princess Haya fled from Dubai to Britain with her children in 2019, saying she was in fear of her life, after discovering Sheikh Mohammed had previously abducted two of his other daughters, Sheikha Latifa and Sheikha Shamsa and rendered them back to Dubai against their will.

Sheikh Mohammed, 72, who is also a giant figure in the horse-racing world, has denied the abductions despite a 2020 High Court judgement saying they were, in all probability, true. He published a poem called “You lived, You Died”, widely assumed to threaten the princess after discovering she was having an affair with her British ex-Army bodyguard.

Princess Haya continued to receive threats after moving to Britain, with messages saying “we can reach you anywhere” and she has since spent vast sums on security for fear her children would be abducted and flown back to Dubai.

The High Court ruled this year that Sheikh Mohammed had illegally hacked the mobile phones of Princess Haya, her bodyguards and her legal team.

The hack was made using invasive spyware called Pegasus, which infects targeted phones and was produced by the Israeli firm NSO Group. Sheikh Mohammed said he had no hacked material in his possession and no surveillance had been undertaken with his express or implied authority. However, the president of the Family Division of the High Court in the UK found to the contrary.