The most expensive divorce settlement between Princess Haya and Sheikh Mohammed a whopping 550 million pounds ($1.09 billion) in the history of England

Sheikh-Hamdan-and-princess-Haya.webp August 7, 2022

It is believed to be the most expensive divorce settlement in British history.

The total amount awarded — 550 million pounds ($1.09 billion) — is unfathomable to most people yet, as the judge noted, “his wealth was sufficient to meet any reasonable order”.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, is one of the world’s richest men.

But the bitter custody battle between him and his sixth wife, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, has cost the publicity-shy Gulf royals more than the eye-watering sum decided by the court.

The case — which could not be reported until this week — disclosed the family’s personal and financial details, exposing the lives of the mega-wealthy in rare detail.
Princess Haya’s lawyers told the judge the money available to the princess and her children in Dubai had been “limitless”.

They had access to more than a dozen luxurious homes, a 400-million-pound yacht and a fleet of private planes.

The princess had an annual budget of more than 83 million pounds for her household, with another 9 million pounds spending money.

Her c, in total, was valued at some 20 million pounds, and would fill the courtroom if spread out.

To Sheikh Mohammed, “the actual value of money is very different to any normal mortal involved in this case or any litigant who normally comes before this court”, Princess Haya’s lawyer said.

The court was told that, during one summer, he had a 2-million-pound bill for buying strawberries for his country estate, north-east of London.
Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum at the Summit of South American-Arab Countries.
Serious concerns for Princess Haya’s safety

However, in the context of the case, Princess Haya’s lawyers argued that she herself was not wealthy, and needed a significant sum to protect her and her children from the sheikh.

The daughter of the late King Hussein of Jordan, Princess Haya studied at Oxford University and represented Jordan at the 2000 Sydney Olympics as a show jumper.

Her marriage to Sheikh Mohammed in 2004 was his second official marriage.

He divorced her under Sharia law in 2019, without her knowledge, according to the court judgement.

Princess Haya fled to the United Kingdom in 2019 and sought custody of their two children Jalila, 14, and Zayed, 9, through the British courts.
This year England’s High Court ruled that the children, who are also in the UK, should live with their mother.

That same court ruled that Sheikh Mohammed had “ordered and orchestrated” the abduction and forced return to Dubai of two of his adult daughters, Shamsa and Latifa.

Judge Andrew McFarlane concluded that Shamsa, then aged 18, was kidnapped in 2000 off the streets of Cambridge in central England and flown back to Dubai.

Latifa was snatched from a boat in international waters off India in 2018 and returned to the emirate, Judge McFarlane found.
That court also ruled Sheikh Mohammed had authorised the hacking of Princess Haya’s phone during their legal battle.

Judge McFarlane said the sheikh gave his “express or implied authority” to hack the phones of the princess and her attorneys using Pegasus spyware produced by NSO Group of Israel.

The software is licensed exclusively to nation states for use by their security services.

Sheikh Mohammed denied knowledge of the hacking.

In the custody battle before Judge Philip Moor, Princess Haya said Sheikh Mohammed published a poem titled “You Lived; You Died” after learning of her affair with a bodyguard.

Princess Haya testified that she sold jewellery and took money from her daughter’s bank account to be able to pay 6.7 million pounds to four of her security staff who blackmailed her over the affair.


The court heard she had also been forced to sell 15.6 million pounds of assets — including horses worth 10 million — to make ends meet while she waited for the final settlement.

Such were the concerns around safety that Princess Haya’s head of security — known only as ‘Director 1’ — had to be brought into the courtroom to give evidence about her security needs with the windows blacked out, shielded with a curtain from all except the judge and two lawyers.

Director 1’s name was handed to the judge on a piece of paper.
Dubai’s ruler Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum and his wife Princess Haya bint al-Hussein stand awkwardly next to each other
Payment to keep children safe from abduction

Judge Moor said Princess Haya and her children needed the extensive provision to protect them from the sheikh, as well as because of their royal status.

“Absolutely uniquely, the main threat they face is from [the sheikh] himself not from outside sources,” the judge said.

“There will remain a clear and ever-present risk to [Princess Haya] for the remainder of her life, whether it be from [Sheikh Mohammed] or just from the normal terrorist,” he said, referring to security threats faced by someone in Princess Haya’s position.

The total amount awarded by the court this week includes a lump-sum of 251.5 million pounds to be paid within three months.

Meanwhile, the bulk of Princess Haya’s financial award will go on security, according to the details of the settlement.

This was to keep the children safe from being abducted by their own father, the ruling said, including cash for a fleet of armoured cars that would be replaced every few years.
Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein leaves The High Court in London.
The settlement also includes a holiday budget of 5.1 million pounds, an annual sum of just over 450,000 pounds for the children’s staff and around 275,000 pounds for their animals, including two ponies and a horse.

Princess Haya was awarded millions to compensate for property lost when she left Dubai, including 13.5 million pounds for jewellery and what the judge called “the relatively modest sum” of 1 million pounds for clothes.

The judge also ordered the sheikh to pay 1 million pounds for missing haute couture garments, which Princess Haya said had disappeared.

“I remind myself that money was no object during the marriage,” Judge Moor said.

The sheikh was also directed to pay 11.2 million pounds a year for the children’s maintenance, and for their security when they become adults.
These payments will be guaranteed via a 290-million-pound security held by HSBC bank.

The total amount awarded is less than half of the 1.4 billion pounds that Princess Haya had originally sought.


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