LONDON:The ruler of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, has failed in his latest attempt to prevent publication of two family court judgments involving his children with his ex-wife Princess Haya of Jordan.
The court of appeal in London also refused his lawyers permission to take the case to the supreme court but said they had until 4pm on Tuesday to lodge an application directly with the UK’s highest court if they wished to object. The two family court judgments cannot be published until any such potential further appeals have been determined.
In a brief statement read out in public before the court of appeal went into closed session, Lord Justice Underhill said it was a unanimous decision of the three judges that Sheikh Mohammed’s appeal should be dismissed. Underhill was sitting with Lady Justice King and Lord Justice Bean.
Princess Haya, 45, attended the hearing on Friday. Sheikh Mohammed, 70, who is also vice-president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, was not present.
He has challenged the decision to publish two judgments that relate to “certain disputed factual issues” and “issues arising out of the special position of [Sheikh Mohammed] as the sovereign and head of government of a foreign state”.
Princess Haya is a half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan. She married Sheikh Mohammed in 2004, becoming his sixth wife, and she fled Dubai last year. The princess is close to the British royal family and owns an £85m house near Kensington Palace in central London.
Educated at private schools in the UK and Oxford University, where she studied philosophy, politics and economics, she has served on the International Olympic Committee and has been a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme.
Among those who have given evidence in the case are DCI David Beck, formerly of Cambridgeshire police, who led an investigation into the disappearance of Princess Shamsa in the UK in 2000, and Tiina Jauhiainen, a friend of Princess Latifa who helped her escape Dubai in 2018. Shamsa and Latifa are daughters of Sheikh Mohammed by another wife.