Dubai’s ruler is unlikely to be rattled by BBC Panorama’s explosive documentary in regards to the alleged kidnapping of his daughter, as he insists that she was introduced home as a part of a “rescue mission.”
But the Brothers Grimm-esque saga of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and Princess Latifa might rapidly grow to be a diplomatic nightmare for the rich Gulf state.
UN officers have already begun poring over the most recent video smuggled out of Dubai by the princesses’ allies, wherein she claims she is being held towards her will in a barricaded compound with no entry to legal professionals or medical assist.
They might then resolve to go the case on to the UN’s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention for a excessive profile and probably embarrassing investigation into the 71-year-old Dubai ruler.
It might also heap unwelcome pressure on the rich Gulf state’s relationship with Britain, which has a robust emphasis on safety co-operation, funding and tourism.
Dominic Raab, the UK international secretary, stated throughout a BBC interview on Tuesday that he want to see proof from the UAE that the princess continues to be alive.
Relations have already been strained by a bitter courtroom battle within the UK final 12 months wherein Sheikh Mohammed was accused of abducting Princess Latifa and his different daughter, Princess Haya.
The High Court dominated on the time that the Dubai ruler had orchestrated the kidnapping and led a marketing campaign of intimidation towards them in an obvious breach of worldwide legislation and “human rights norms.”
Sheikh Mohammed maintains that her return to Dubai was a rescue mission and that she is protected at home together with her household.
The Queen is claimed to have distanced herself from Sheikh Mohammed within the wake of that ruling, breaking off an in depth relationship that was based on their shared love of horse racing.
The Dubai ruler has posed for pictures with Her Majesty and even frolicked within the royal field at Ascot, a privilege which is unlikely to be prolonged to him once more.
Then there’s the continued rigidity between Britain and the UAE over the sequence of instances involving British expats and vacationers who’ve been arrested within the Gulf state after falling foul of its notoriously conservative legal guidelines on etiquette.
In 2017 a Scottish vacationer, Jamie Harron, was given a 3 month jail sentence after he tripped over in a nightclub and unintentionally touched one other man’s hip, resulting in an arrest for public indecency.
The following 12 months, Jeremy Hunt, then the international secretary, threatened the UAE with “serious diplomatic consequences” over the life imprisonment of Matthew Hedges, who was accused of being a British spy. He was ultimately pardoned. He too was pardoned by Emirati authorities after a excessive profile media marketing campaign.
At the time of writing, a British lady can be dealing with jail in Dubai for sending a impolite textual content message to her flatmate, which led to police confiscating her passport and charging her with slander.
Those instances sit uneasily with Dubai’s popularity as a paradise for sun-seeking vacationers and expats who’re lured to the desert skyscrapers with profitable job affords and phenomenally low tax charges.
With renewed scrutiny of the Dubai ruler’s therapy of his kids, which some say is paying homage to the fearsome patriarchs in Angela Carter’s fairy tales, Britain could also be pressured to chill relations even additional.
This might have ramifications for Britain’s post-Brexit international coverage, wherein rich Gulf states such because the UAE are anticipated to play a far larger function.
The UAE is a significant marketplace for British arms gross sales, having bought round £7bn in weapons to the Gulf state over the previous decade.
Britain is already beneath strain to undertake President Joe Biden’s harder stance on Gulf weapons commerce, which noticed him freeze arms gross sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE as Washington performed a evaluation.
Saudi Arabia has confronted repeated allegations of utilizing Western defence expertise to kill and maim civilians within the struggle in Yemen towards Houthi rebels.
Amnesty International has additionally claimed that the UAE is giving Western arms to “completely unaccountable militias, some of which stand accused of war crimes.”
Both the UAE and Saudi Arabia deny any wrongdoing of their defence insurance policies.
Whatever the diplomatic fallout from the most recent grim twist in Princess Latifa’s plight, one factor does appear clear: we won’t see the Queen posing for extra pictures with Sheikh Mohammd anytime quickly.
The Telegraph has approached Emirati authorities for remark.