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A Tortoise File

The forgotten princess

The origin story of how Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, treats the women in his life.

The forgotten princess

First published
Monday 1 November 2021

Last updated
Monday 1 November 2021

Why this story?

The High Court recently found that Sheikh Mohammed, the ruler of Dubai, had deployed the full force of the state he runs to coerce and intimidate his ex-wife, all because she had dared to defy him and flee the UAE with her two young children. The ruling revealed just how ruthless the Sheikh could be – and revealed a pattern. Because, as part of the court battle, two previous cases were combed over: those of Princess Latifa and Princess Shamsa, two of the Sheikh’s daughters who have also tried to escape his control. Latifa’s story is well-known, in part because of her genius at publicising it. But Shamsa has been forgotten, a woman whose alleged abduction from a Cambridge street and subsequent imprisonment in Dubai has been conveniently forgotten over the last 21 years by the British authorities, as Sheikh Mohammed has been embraced by the Royals, and his billions in investment welcomed.

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