Dubai ruler and estranged wife gear up for High Court battle in November
The ruler of Dubai and his estranged wife are gearing up for a legal battle over their children at the High Court in November.
The full hearing of the dispute between Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein will be heard in London on November 11, and is expected to take a week.
Princess Haya arrived at the Royal Courts of Justice in London on Tuesday for a preliminary hearing before the president of the Family Division, Sir Andrew McFarlane.
Sheikh Mohammed, who was represented in court by Lord Pannick QC, was not present in court.
Sir Andrew told members of the press that they could report the fact the hearing took place, but no details of the legal arguments advanced during the hearing.
The court heard at an earlier preliminary hearing in July that Princess Haya is applying for a forced marriage protection order in relation to the children.
At that hearing, Sir Andrew allowed the media to report that Princess Haya has applied for wardship of their children, as well as for a non-molestation order and a forced marriage protection order.
A forced marriage protection order can be made to protect a person from being forced into a marriage or from any attempt to be forced into a marriage and could, for example, prevent someone being taken abroad.
The details of the order sought by Princess Haya are not known.
Sir Andrew rejected an application by Sheikh Mohammed’s lawyers for those details to be subject to reporting restrictions.
Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed issued a statement confirming they are parties to proceedings before the court following a private hearing before Sir Andrew earlier in July.
The statement said: “These proceedings are concerned with the welfare of the two children of their marriage and do not concern divorce or finances.”
Sheikh Mohammed, who turned 70 in July, is the vice president and prime minister of the United Arab Emirates and ruler of Dubai.
He is also the founder of the successful Godolphin horse racing stable and recently received a trophy from the Queen after one of his horses won a race at Royal Ascot.
Princess Haya, 45, who is the half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan and is Sheikh Mohammed’s sixth wife, reportedly fled Dubai earlier this year.