“I am a hostage in a villa. This villa has been converted into a prison,” Latifa al-Maktoum says in surfaced video messages, owned by the BBC. “I am recording this video from a toilet because this is the only room I can lock.”
‘I fear for my life’
Several agents are guarding the building, according to Latifa. The windows are locked and she cannot go out, she says. The princess is now terrified. “Every day I fear for my life. I don’t know if I will survive this situation.”
Latifa recorded the messages secretly with a telephone, which she obtained a year after her kidnapping. Friends of the princess sound the alarm because it has been quiet for some time now. They call on the UN to take immediate action.
A British judge found it proven last year that the wealthy sheik had Princess Latifa, one of his 25 children, kidnapped. Latifa tried to flee Dubai in both 2002 and 2018, for fear of her father.
Failed flight attempt
After the first failed attempt, she was imprisoned for three years. After the second attempt, she was kidnapped by armed men while on a yacht in the Indian Ocean. The 35-year-old Latifa was then forcibly brought back to Dubai.
It is the first time since the kidnapping that reports have come out again. Latifa Al Maktoum’s last video message was from just before her escape attempt.
In the video, which only appeared after her kidnapping, she told how she and her family in Dubai have no freedom.
Princess Shamsa also kidnapped
For example, her sister, Princess Shamsa, tried to escape from Dubai before. In 2000, the then 19-year-old princess ran away while staying with her family in their villa in Surrey, Britain.
But Shamsa’s attempt also failed. In Cambridge she was arrested by agents of the sheik and then taken drugged to Dubai, where she is still imprisoned.
Guns on the bed
Sheikh al-Maktoum also wanted revenge against Princess Haya Bint Al-Hussain, who was one of his six wives. Princess Haya decided to flee to London in 2019 after hearing about the kidnappings.
Haya told a British judge that she had subsequently found a gun on her pillow twice. The sheik also wrote poems in threatening language and is said to have said, “You and the children will never be safe in England.” The woman has since been hiding in London.