23:34 GMT02 December 2020
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    Unconfirmed reports suggest that a junior wife of the ruler of Dubai, who also serves as vice president and prime minister of the UAE, has fled the country and is seeking asylum in Europe. UAE officials have yet to comment on the reports.

    Princess Haya bint Hussein, one of the six wives of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, has allegedly run away with her 7-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter, according to the Daily Beast.

    Princess Haya, 45, who is the daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, is said to have initially fled to Germany, taking nearly $40 million with her to start a new life.

    The princess, who was last seen in public in May, requested asylum and Germany has approved her application “in principle”, the Daily Beast reports citing anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

    Berlin is alleged to have turned down a request from Sheikh Maktoum to bring his wife back to Dubai – a move that could potentially cause a diplomatic crisis between the two countries.

    It is claimed that she is currently hiding at a secret location in London. Her social media accounts have been inactive since February.

    Princess Haya is also reported to be seeking a divorce from her royal husband. They married in 2004 and she has been photographed alongside Sheikh Maktoum at events in the UAE and abroad.

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    The princess has been engaged in charity work and has served as goodwill ambassador for the World Food Programme and the Organisation for Animal Health.

    There has been no immediate confirmation from the UAE or Germany about the reports.

    Last March, it was widely reported that Princess Latifa, the daughter of the Dubai ruler and his another wife, tried to escape from the country but was caught on a vessel in the Indian Ocean and returned home.

    Princess Latifa complained of mistreatment at home in a pre-recorded video, but in late 2018 the UAE’s Foreign Ministry released photos of Her Highness meeting in Dubai with Mary Robinson, an erstwhile High Commissioner for Human Rights.

    The ministry said in a communique that it denied “false allegations” about the princess and that “Mary Robinson was reassured that Sheikha Latifa is receiving the necessary care and support she requires”.

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