Shamsa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum

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Shamsa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum
Sheikha
Born (1981-08-15) 15 August 1981 (age 40)[1]
Dubai
Names
Shamsa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
HouseAl Falasi
FatherMohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum[1]
MotherHuriah Ahmed al M'aash[2][3]

Sheikha Shamsa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (Arabic: شمسة بنت محمد بن راشد آل مكتوم, Shamsā bint Muḥammad bin Rāshid al-Maktūm; born 15 August 1981)[1] is an Emirati princess and a member of the Dubai ruling family. Her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates, and her mother, Huriah Ahmed al M'aash,[2][3][4][5] is from Algeria. She is the full sister of Sheikha Maitha (born 1980), Sheikha Latifa (born 1985) and Sheikh Majid (born 1987).

In July 2000, whilst on holiday in the United Kingdom, she fled her family and stayed with friends in London. In August 2000, she was snatched by men working for her father off the street in Cambridge, and taken back to Dubai on a private jet. In 2020, a UK family court found that her father orchestrated her abduction.[6][7]

Disappearance in 2000[edit]

In summer 2000, Shamsa was in the United Kingdom on holiday with her extended family residing at their Longcross estate near Chobham in Surrey. In an attempt to seek a better future for herself and escape restrictions on her life in Dubai, she used the opportunity to flee from her family in mid July 2000. After her escape, she stayed with friends for a few weeks in a London flat before being found by her family.[8][9][10]

In August 2000, Shamsa was forcefully picked up by what she describes as four Arab men carrying guns from the streets of Cambridge while walking out of a bar and taken back to Dubai on a private jet. In March 2001, after having been contacted by a British solicitor who had spoken to Shamsa, Cambridgeshire police began investigating the incident. During inquiries, people close to Shamsa in the United Kingdom substantiated her story of escape, and the matter was raised in Parliament; the police investigation stalled, however, which was alleged at the time as being due to denial of access to her by Dubai authorities and non-cooperation of the Longcross estate staff.[11][12][13][14] According to the Foreign Office, Sheikh Mohammed himself tried to intervene with the British government over the police investigation.[15]

As of August 2021, Shamsa has not been seen in public, 22 years after her disappearance.[16]

2018 revival of investigation[edit]

In March 2018, Shamsa's sister Latifa also attempted to escape and was also forcefully recaptured and brought back to Dubai. Her video-statement corroborating story of Shamsa's attempted escape, her own abuse and their imprisonment in a family-owned compound brought the almost two decades old incident back into media focus, as has a BBC Panorama documentary of 16 February 2021 about Latifa's plight.[17] Appeals by various human rights groups and campaigners seeking release of the two sisters made a United Nations special rapporteur to seek official response from the United Arab Emirates as well.[clarification needed][18] A few months later in 2019, Princess Haya had to leave Dubai with her children reportedly due to feeling threatened after inquiring about the sisters on her own.[19][20]

In December 2018, the police investigation on Shamsa's disappearance was reopened after testimony of Shamsa's cousin Marcus Essabri (then Fatima Essabri) living in the United Kingdom, and their mutual correspondence before her disappearance made her wishes for freedom apparent.[21]

Her cousin, Marcus Essabri, called for the release of both Shamsa and Latifa from Dubai and Sheikh Mohammed's prison.[22] He also features on the BBC Panorama documentary that was originally broadcast on 16 February 2021.

2019 court proceedings[edit]

In December 2019, a United Kingdom family court ruled that – on the balance of probabilities – Sheikh Mohammed orchestrated the abductions of Sheikha Latifa and Sheikha Shamsa and subjected Princess Haya to a campaign of "intimidation"; the findings were published in March 2020.[23][24]

Police have subsequently said that the lapsed investigation into Shamsa's disappearance is to be reviewed.[6]

See also[edit]

Ancestry[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Millar, Stuart; Wilson, Jamie (10 December 2001). "Police investigate 'kidnap' of sheikh's daughter". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 10 May 2014. Retrieved 23 August 2019.
  2. ^ a b "Scandale / Séquestrée durant trois ans, la fille de l'émir de Dubaï, née d'une mère algérienne, s'enfuit du pays" (in French). Archived from the original on 12 April 2019. Retrieved 12 April 2019.
  3. ^ a b "La fille de mère algérienne de l'émir de Dubaï suscite un scandale (vidéo)". 10 March 2018. Archived from the original on 31 July 2019. Retrieved 31 July 2019.
  4. ^ "Findings in UK court battle between Dubai's sheikh and former wife". Reuters. 5 March 2020. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
  5. ^ "Re Al M, Approved Judgment (The High Court of Justice, Family Division)" (PDF). Courts and Tribunal Judiciary. 11 December 2019. Retrieved 23 February 2021.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ a b Bowcott, Owen; Dodd, Vikram (6 March 2020). "Police to review inquiry into 2000 disappearance of Dubai ruler's daughter". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 7 March 2020 – via www.theguardian.com.
  7. ^ Doward, Jamie (8 March 2020). "Sheikh's daughter called UK police after kidnap, lawyer claims". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 8 March 2020 – via www.theguardian.com.
  8. ^ Millar, Stuart; Wilson, Jamie (15 December 2001). "Unruly daughter of wealthy sheikh made a bid for freedom. But what happened next?". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 29 August 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  9. ^ Millar, Stuart; Wilson, Jamie (15 December 2001). "Sheikh's daughter escaped family's UK home before 'kidnap'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  10. ^ Millar, Stuart; Wilson, Jamie (22 December 2001). "Sheikh's missing daughter 'stayed at flat in London'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 5 July 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  11. ^ Millar, Stuart; Wilson, Jamie (10 December 2001). "Strange case of the sheikh's daughter". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 24 March 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  12. ^ Millar, Stuart; Wilson, Jamie (10 December 2001). "Police investigate 'kidnap' of sheikh's daughter". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 5 July 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  13. ^ Millar, Stuart; Wilson, Jamie (11 December 2001). "MP queries 'kidnapping' of sheikh's daughter". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 3 August 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  14. ^ "House of Commons Hansard Written Answers for 13 December 2001 (pt 10)". publications.parliament.uk. Archived from the original on 13 March 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  15. ^ Millar, Stuart; Wilson, Jamie (22 December 2001). "Sheikh's missing daughter 'stayed at flat in London'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 March 2020. The Foreign Office has revealed that Sheikh Mohammed, the most high profile member of Dubai's autocratic ruling family, tried to intervene with the British government over the ongoing police investigation, which began after Shamsa asked police for help via a British solicitor in March.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  16. ^ "Dubai princess a 'prisoner' 20 years after failed attempt to flee". NewsComAu. 4 July 2019. Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  17. ^ Graham-Harrison, Emma (4 December 2018). "Missing Emirati princess 'planned escape for seven years'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Archived from the original on 17 September 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  18. ^ Senior Ireland Reporter, Peter O'Dwyer (12 March 2019). "UN warned it would raise alarm over princess's fate". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Archived from the original on 10 April 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  19. ^ Gardner, Frank (2 July 2019). "Dubai ruler's wife 'in hiding in UK'". Archived from the original on 9 August 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  20. ^ "Princess flees billionaire with US$56m". NewsComAu. 28 June 2019. Archived from the original on 13 August 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  21. ^ Middle East Correspondent, Louise Callaghan (21 July 2019). "Teen letter lays bare anguish of Shamsa Al Maktoum, the Dubai princess who vanished into thin air". The Sunday Times. ISSN 0956-1382. Archived from the original on 23 July 2019. Retrieved 22 September 2019.
  22. ^ "WORLD EXCLUSIVE: Dubai royal insider breaks silence on escaped princesses | 60 Minutes Australia". YouTube. 22 July 2019. Retrieved 18 February 2021.
  23. ^ Siddique, Owen Bowcottand Haroon (5 March 2020). "Dubai ruler organised kidnapping of his children, UK court rules". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 5 March 2020.
  24. ^ Re Al M [2019] EWHC 3415 (Fam)