Princess Latifa pictured ‘on holiday’ in Spain in Instagram post

UN experts and human rights activists want Dubai’s ruler to provide information on his daughter

Princess Latifa tried to flee Dubai in 2018 only to be detained by commandos in a boat off India. File photograph: EPA/Free Latifa Campaign

Princess Latifa tried to flee Dubai in 2018 only to be detained by commandos in a boat off India. File photograph: EPA/Free Latifa Campaign

 

A Dubai princess who has been the subject of concern from a United Nations panel after being seized trying to flee the sheikhdom in 2018 has appeared in a social media post that described her as being in Spain on a European holiday.

An Instagram image published by a woman identified in British media as former Royal Navy member Sioned Taylor shows Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum at Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport.

Ms Taylor’s caption, punctuated by a smiley face emoji, read: “Great European holiday with Latifa. We’re having fun exploring!” Comments by Taylor acknowledged the location of the image, which match other images of the airport.

Asked about Sheikha Latifa, Ms Taylor wrote in another comment “she is great” with a thumbs-up emoji.

Ms Taylor posted images of Sheikha Latifa in May at two local Dubai malls as well.

The photos’ pedestrian captions belie the fact UN experts and human rights activists had called on Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to provide information on his daughter.

Sheikha Latifa (35) had tried to flee the country in 2018 only to be detained by commandos in a boat off India.

Videos released in February by the BBC had Sheikha Latifa describing herself as being in a villa that “has been converted into a jail”.

The dramatic would-be sea escape and its aftermath intruded into the carefully controlled image maintained by the family of Sheikh Mohammed, who is believed to have several dozen children from multiple wives. Some of his sons and daughters figure prominently in local media and online, but others are rarely seen.

Sheikh Mohammed’s family life again became a public matter in 2020. Then, a British judge ruled the sheikh had conducted a campaign of fear and intimidation against his estranged wife and ordered the abduction of two of his daughters, one of them Sheikha Latifa.

The ruling came in a custody battle between Sheikh Mohammed and his estranged wife Princess Haya, the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan.

Sheikh Mohammed also serves as the vice president and prime minister of the hereditarily ruled UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula. – PA