Dubai's Princess Latifa says she is 'free to travel'

Dubai's Princess Latifa says she is 'free to travel'
2 min read
24 June, 2021
Princess Latifa said she can move freely, after images showed her at a Spanish airport.
The daughter of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum asked her lawyers to respond to queries from the press [Getty]

The UAE's Princess Latifa says she is free to travel, according to a statement issued on Wednesday, just days after images of the royal surfaced online showing her at an airport in Spain.

 "I recently visited three European countries on holiday with my friend. I asked her to post a few photos online to prove to campaigners that I can travel where I want," the Dubai princess said in a statement forwarded by her lawyers to Reuters.  

"I hope now that I can live my life in peace without further media scrutiny. And I thank everyone for their kind wishes."

In the photo uploaded to Instagram, Princess Latifa is wearing a mask and standing side-by-side with a friend supposedly at the airport. It was posted on the account of Sioned Taylor, a former Royal Navy service person and teacher at a state-run school in Dubai.  

The caption under the image read: "Great European holiday with Latifa. We’re having fun exploring!" 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Sioned (@shinnybryn)

It marked the first time Princess Latifa, one of Sheikh Mohammed's 25 children, was photographed outside the UAE since a fail escape attempt in 2018.

The princess along with friends tried to flee Dubai on a boat but was abducted in Indian waters and returned to the UAE. 

In May, Taylor posted two other photos of the princess on Instagram in which she appeared to be at a mall and later at a restaurant in Dubai.  

Four months ago, a BBC documentary contained footage of the princess claiming she was a "hostage" in a "jail villa". The documentary included testimonies from close friends expressing concern over how she was being treated. 

"I just want to be free," said Latifa in the footage. 

After seeing the photo on Monday, co-founder of the Free Latifa campaign, David Haigh 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," he added. 

Haigh did not comment on the latest statement made public by Princess Latifa's lawyers, according to Reuters

This article has been updated to add additional quotes and context.