Dubai's Sheikha Latifa issues video from 'villa jail', BBC Panorama

Yolanda Curtis
February 16, 2021

Stories of the daughters and wife of Dubai's ruler continue to make headlines and trigger controversies, the latest being a short video recorded and sent to the BBC by his daughter Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in which she uncovered how she has been living.

At the start of the video, the 35-year-old Sheikha Latifa talks about recording the video from the bathroom, saying that "it is the only room in the villa where she can actually close the door with a key".

Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, had described Latifa as a "troubled young woman" after meeting her in 2018.

Dubai and the UAE have previously said she is safe in the care of family, according to the BBC.

The sheikh - ruler of Dubai and vice president of the UAE - had applied to the British courts for the summary return to Dubai of their children, Jalila, 12, and Zayed, seven, after Princess Haya, fled with them to London in April a year ago. She first fled the country in February 2018 after she was stopped on board a boat near the coast of India and has not been seen publicly ever since.

Mary Robinson has joined calls for worldwide action to find out where Princess Latifa is now located.

"I continue to be very anxious about Latifa". The UN sources further said that for initiating any such investigation, UN requires approval from the Security Council and until now, there has not been any such initiatives, as they did not pay any heed to the unsubstantiated claims of David Haigh, Tiina Jauhiainen and Marcus Essabri.

The stateswoman told Panorama she had earlier been presented with details of Latifa's bipolar disorder, a condition she does not have. All the windows are barred shut, I can't open any window. This was done with the help of Ms Jauhiainen, initially her instructor for capoeira, a Brazilian martial art.

He upheld Latifa's account that she was detained at sea by Indian special forces and returned to Dubai.

She flew to Dubai in December 2018 at the request of her friend, Princess Haya, for a lunch at which Latifa was also present.

"I wasn't against the photograph".

"I was particularly tricked when the photographs went public", Robinson told the BBC. "That was a total surprise".

Before her 2018 escape attempt, Latifa recorded another video which was posted on YouTube after her capture. "I was absolutely stunned".

In an incendiary ruling past year, the High Court in London made a ruling of fact that Sheikh Maktoum, 71, had "ordered and orchestrated" both occasions on which the princess has been kidnapped and held against her will.

Dr Robinson told the programme she did not ask Latifa about her situation because she did not want to "increase the trauma" of her "condition".

Tuesday's footage is part of a BBC Panorama documentary, The Missing Princess.

On the decision to release the messages now, Ms Jauhiainen just says that "a lot of time has passed" since contact was lost. "I can't even go outside to get any fresh air", she says.

Other reports by iNewsToday