Dubai princess wins $733 mn from Sheikh in UK settlement

London: Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has been ordered by the High Court in London to provide a British record of more than 554 million pounds ($733 million) to settle a custody battle with his ex-wife over their two children.

The bulk of the massive award to Princess Haya bint al-Hussein, half-sister of Jordan’s King Abdullah, and the couple’s two children, is to ensure their lifetime security, not least to address the “grave risk” posed to them by the Sheikh himself, said the judge, Philip Moor.

The judge said: “She is not asking for an award for herself other than for security” and to compensate her for the possessions she lost as a result of the marital breakdown.

He directed Mohammed to make a one-off payment of 251.5 million pounds within three months to Haya for the upkeep of her British mansions, to cover the money she said she was owed for jewelry and racehorses, and for her future security costs.

These payments will be guaranteed via a 290 million pound security held by HSBC bank. The final sum, despite being believed by some London lawyers to be the largest public award ever ordered by an English family court, is less than half of the 1.4 billion pounds that Haya had originally sought.

The settlement is the latest development in a legal saga that began when the princess fled to Britain in April 2019, fearing for her safety after she began an affair with one of her bodyguards, and a month after she had asked the Sheikh for a divorce. (India Today)

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