UAE says Princess Latifa 'improving' and to return to public life 'at the appropriate time'

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James Rothwell
·2 min read
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Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, the daughter of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is one of the richest heads of state in the world
Princess Latifa Al Maktoum, the daughter of Dubai's ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is one of the richest heads of state in the world

The United Arab Emirates has said that Princess Latifa, who this week claimed in a video to have been imprisoned in a compound by her powerful father, is alive and that it hopes she will return to public life "at the appropriate time".

"In response to media reports regarding Sheikha Latifa, we want to thank those who have expressed concern for her wellbeing, despite the coverage which certainly is not reflective of the actual position," the Emirati royal family said in a statement to the Telegraph.

"Her family has confirmed that Her Highness is being cared for at home, supported by her family and medical professionals. She continues to improve and we are hopeful she will return to public life at the appropriate time."

It comes in response to the United Nations and Dominic Raab, Britain's foreign secretary, asking for proof from the UAE that Princess Latifa was still alive following an extraordinary video clip published by the BBC where she claims she is being held against her will without medical or legal access.

The Geneva-based Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said the case of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed Al Maktoum was raised with the UAE's mission to the UN on Thursday.

"We raised our concerns about the situation in light of the disturbing video evidence that emerged this week," Elizabeth Throssell, a spokeswoman for the UN rights office said. "We requested more information and clarification about Sheikha Latifa's current situation."

"We did ask for proof of life," she added.

Dubai Princess Latifa Al Maktoum has secretly recorded a video saying she is being imprisoned against her will in "villa jail", - BBC Panorama
Dubai Princess Latifa Al Maktoum has secretly recorded a video saying she is being imprisoned against her will in "villa jail", - BBC Panorama

Princess Latifa's father and ruler of Dubai, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, is alleged to have sent a team of commandos to abduct her from a yacht she was using to escape from the country in 2018.

He has previously maintained that she was brought back to Dubai as part of a "rescue mission".

However, this has been strongly disputed by campaigners who helped the Princess leave her home and board the yacht, captained by former French naval officer Hervé Jaubert.

Speaking to the Telegraph on Thursday, the campaign to free Princess Latifa said that they have more video footage which was smuggled out of her compound and that they may release it soon.

“We haven’t released everything that we have, some of it is even more detailed information,” said Tiina Jauhiainen, a Finnish fitness instructor who is leading the campaign and who describes herself as the princess's best friend.