Dubai Ruler, Estranged Wife Court Battle Set For November

The full hearing in the case between United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and Princess Haya, his sixth wife, will be held on November 11.

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Dubai Ruler, Estranged Wife Court Battle Set For November

Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum are locked in a legal battle (Reuters)


London: 

A legal battle between the ruler of Dubai and his estranged wife over their children's welfare will be heard by England's High Court in November, a judge decided Wednesday.

The full hearing in the case between United Arab Emirates Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum and Princess Haya, his sixth wife, will be held on November 11.

The two-day preliminary hearing in the case between 70-year-old Sheikh Mohammed and the Jordanian royal, 45, concluded on Wednesday.

Princess Haya, a daughter of the late king Hussein of Jordan and a half-sister of King Abdullah II of Jordan, was in court for the proceedings, while the UAE premier was not.

The princess has applied for a UK forced marriage protection order relating to their children, the hearing on Tuesday was told.

She has also applied for wardship of their two children, and a non-molestation order relating to herself.

Sheikh Mohammed has applied to the High Court for the summary return of the children to Dubai.

"Welfare issues"

The preliminary hearing was held before judge Andrew McFarlane, who presides over the family division of the High Court of England and Wales.

The hearing was held at the Royal Courts of Justice complex in London.

After a previous hearing held in private in London, the couple issued a statement relating to the nature of the case.

"These proceedings are concerned with the welfare of the two children of their marriage and do not concern divorce or finances," it said.

It said the preliminary case management hearing would "deal with issues relating to how to proceed to a final hearing to determine the welfare issues".

Distinct from arranged marriages, forced marriages, in UK law, are those without the full and free consent of both parties.

A forced marriage protection order can be used to help someone who is being forced into marriage or who has been subjected to one, according to the government's official leaflet on the orders.

They can be applied for by the person in question, a relevant third party or anyone else with the permission of the court.

Applications must include details of how the applicant wants to be protected by the court, with the leaflet giving the example of stopping a person from being taken out of the UK to enter into a marriage without consent.

Top lawyers

Princess Haya left the court accompanied by her lawyer Fiona Shackleton who represented Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne, in his divorce from Diana, princess of Wales.

Sheikh Mohammed is being represented by Helen Ward, who acted for Guy Ritchie in his divorce from pop star Madonna and for former Formula One motor racing supremo Bernie Ecclestone in his divorce.

The case is subject to reporting restrictions.

Judge McFarlane decided Tuesday that only accredited journalists with media based within the jurisdiction of England and Wales were allowed to sit in on the proceedings.

Reporters from media organisations based abroad were in attendance but were told they could not hear the proceedings.



(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)


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