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Princess Latifa: Dubai’s ‘missing’ royal pictured on holiday in Spain

·2-min read
Former Royal Navy member Sioned Taylor with Princess Latifa at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport (shinnybryn/Instagram)
Former Royal Navy member Sioned Taylor with Princess Latifa at Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas airport (shinnybryn/Instagram)

Dubai’s Princess Latifa was tagged in a social media post on Sunday, describing her as being on a “European holiday” in Spain.

The photo was shared on Instagram by Sioned Taylor, a former Royal Navy sailor, teacher, and long-term friend of the princess.

It shows Ms Taylor and Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed al-Maktoum at the Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajs Airport in Spain. Both women are pictured wearing facemasks.

The photo caption reads: “Great European holiday with Latifa. We’re having fun exploring!”

In the comments, Ms Taylor said the location was the Madrid airport, and when asked if Latifa was doing OK, she replied “she is great” with a thumbs-up emoji.

This marks one of the first times that the 35-year-old princess has been pictured publicly since her failed attempt to flee the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in 2018.

In her escape attempt, the princess had left the UAE for Oman, where she boarded a boat and sailed towards India, with the ultimate goal of flying to America and claiming asylum.

The boat was detained off the coast of India by Emirati commandos, and she was returned to Dubai on a private jet, where she has remained largely out of the public eye until recently.

Earlier this year, the BBC’s Panorama released footage secretly filmed by the princess, where she described herself as being “held hostage” in a villa that “has been converted into a jail”.

There was an international outcry after the footage was released, with a United Nations panel calling on Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum to provide information on his daughter, including “proof of life”.

The sheikh, who also serves as the vice president and prime minister of the UAE, has consistently denied that he has mistreated his daughter Latifa.

Princess Latifa was also photographed in public last month at the Emirates Mall in Dubai alongside Ms Taylor and another woman.

David Haigh, co-founder of the Free Latifa campaign, said: “We are pleased to see Latifa seemingly having a passport, travelling and enjoying an increasing degree of freedom; these are very positive steps forward.

“I can also confirm that several of the campaign team have been contacted directly by Latifa.”

“We cannot comment further at this stage, save to say that our only goal is to secure the present day and future safety and well-being of Latifa and that we are currently, and have been since May, seeking guarantees in that regard.

“At present, the campaign has put on hold all campaigning activities and we would like to express our heartfelt thanks and appreciation to all those around the world that supported the Free Latifa campaign and Latifa,” he added.

Ms Taylor, the UAE embassies in London and Madrid, and the government’s Dubai Media Offices did not respond immediately to a request for comment on Monday.

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