London: £550m divorce settlement
London – It’s described as the biggest divorce case in British legal history – a settlement of more than £500m involving the billionaire ruler of Dubai and his estranged wife.
The United Kingdom’s High Court on Tuesday awarded a lump sum settlement of £251.5m to Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussain – the 47-year-old daughter of Jordan’s former King Hussein.
She is the youngest of six wives of Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al-Maktoum – the multi-billionaire ruler of Dubai, prime minister of the UAE and influential horse-racing owner.
The judgment provides Princess Haya with sums to cover the cost of running two multi-million pound properties – one next to London’s Kensington Palace, as well as her main residence in Egham, Surrey.
There is also provision for a substantial “security budget” as well as holidays, salaries and accommodation for both a nurse and a nanny, armoured vehicles for the family, and the cost of maintaining various ponies and pets.
It has also awarded secured payments of £5.6m-a-year to each of her two children, a 14-year-old daughter and a nine-year old son. These are to be secured with a £290m guarantee.
‘In fear of her life’
This long-running court custody battle has thrown a spotlight on the normally closed world of Middle Eastern royal families.
Princess Haya fled from Dubai to Britain with her children in 2019, saying she was in fear of her life, after discovering Sheikh Mohammed had previously abducted two of his other daughters – Sheikha Latifa and Sheikha Shamsa – and rendered them back to Dubai against their will.
Sheikh Mohammed, 72, who is also a giant figure in the horse-racing world, has denied the abductions – despite a 2020 High Court judgement saying they were, in all probability, true. He published a poem called “You lived, You Died”, widely assumed to threaten the princess after discovering she was having an affair with her British ex-Army bodyguard.
Princess Haya continued to receive threats after moving to Britain, with messages saying “we can reach you anywhere” and she has since spent vast sums on security for fear her children would be abducted and flown back to Dubai.(Reuters)