Princess Latifa: The Mysterious Story of the Dubai Princess Who Vanished

Princess Latifa

The Princess Latifa case is one of the most mysterious hostages trending presently. It seems that there are newer details that the media has come across regarding the detention of the Dubai princess. It has been quite a long time since the time Tiina Jauhiainen last spoke to Princess Latifa. The two are old friends, and Tiina was supposedly on the same yacht during Latifa’s abduction.

The imprisonment is the consequence of Princess Latifa trying to escape Dubai. Now, Tiina Jauhiainen is more worried about her friend’s well-being because there seems no possibility of contacting her. Even a few months back, Princess Latifa contacted a few people, including Tiina, using a secret cell phone. However, the contact stopped very suddenly, just like it had started in 2018.

Tiina recalls her last meeting with Princess Latifa on the yacht’s deck. They were both lying down and gazing at stars while traveling across the Indian Ocean. Princess Latifa is one of the 25 total children of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum. He is the person who gets all the credit for making Dubai a dream destination.

The details of the escape plan of Princess Latifa

According to the Sheikh’s plan, Dubai is now one of the best cities in the world. Besides, it is presently one of the topmost global business hubs. It is sometimes also called the region’s playground. However, the city can still bring bad fortune for Emirati women due to the rigid customs.

Just a few days before the first lap of her escape mission, a video of the Princess went viral. In it, she complains about her life in Dubai and some of the restrictions. Latifa mentions how she is not allowed to drive or travel despite being the Princess. She adds in the recording that she is not allowed to leave the city too. Latifa mentions that she has not left UAE since 2000.

In the video, her helplessness was evident when she confesses that all her requests are in vain. She wants to be free, travel around, study, and live everyday life. While she was sitting in Tiina’s apartment, the Princess looked cheerful because she was finally about to escape from Dubai. In the video, Latifa says that she was feeling optimistic and cannot wait to experience what is to come. The thought of waking up to a normal and free life excites her a lot.

Since Princess Latifa did not have an accessible passport, Tiina and she drove from Dubai to the Oman Coast. The journey was quite long, but they were finally free after setting out into the international waters. In between, they were traveling on a jet ski and a dinghy. By evening, it was finally time for them to board the yacht to take them towards freedom. Latifa sent a WhatsApp message to her friend stating that finally, she was free.

The latest videos of the Princess in a helpless condition

There were more shocking details in her later videos that are going viral now. In these, the Princess is speaking in detail about what all she was going through. After the storming incident, she was taken back to Dubai, allegedly living in solitary confinement for the past three years. She recalls how she was fighting to be free. It was when she saw a guy coming towards her carrying a small pouch. He quickly took out a needle from that pouch and injected something into her arm.

Of course, it was a tranquilizer, and she does not remember very vividly what all was happening. However, she describes in one of her videos that some people carried her to an Indian military ship. The commandos took her to a large room, and in front of her, she saw at least four to five military generals.

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She was continually repeating her name, stating that she was Latifa al Maktoum and that she does not want to return. The Princess even mentions that no one can arrest her like that because she was in international waters and seeking political asylum. However, all her please went into vain, and one of the Emirati commandos even starts to manhandle her.

Failure of all plans and the beginning of imprisonment

The Dubai Princess recalls how she was fighting and kicking to free herself. However, it was quite impossible because the Emirati commando was a big guy and he was quickly grabbing and picking her up. Latifa suddenly notices at this point that the guy’s shirt sleeves were rolled up, and the arms were exposed. In her helplessness, she took a shot and bit his harm hard while the man was shouting in pain. She was soon lying unconscious due to the tranquilizer’s strong effect and was only awake after reaching Dubai.

After realizing that she was brought back to Dubai, she was feeling very sad. More than her abduction, what was more painful is that she was witnessing the failure of her long planning. Since then, the Princess is living in solitary confinement with no trial, charge, or access to medical help.

On the other hand, Tiina was also forcefully taken back to Dubai, where for the next two weeks, she was living in detention. The moment her detention was over, Tiina starts revealing the incident in front of international media. Soon, a campaign group called Free Latifa came into existence. Tiina also successfully took the case of the Princess to the UN Assembly. However, as time was passing, she was losing all contact with Latifa. Finally, in 2019, while Tiina was on a trip to Finland to visit her family, she received a strange message.

Tiina and Latifa’s reunion over a call after a year

She was then going through an intense round of security questioning. The most challenging phase was when the person on the other side of the phone asked her a secret question. She was to answer Latifa’s capoeira name. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art form that Latifa was learning from Tiina years back. After answering everything correctly, she was finally able to hear Latifa’s voice. Tiina recalls how they both were crying because it was an extremely emotional moment.

Soon, Latifa was able to record some video messages, and the revelations were shocking. She is now 35 years old and is recording a video from her bathroom corner. Latifa is speaking in weak whispers because she wants no one to overhear. She reveals that the bathroom is the only room that has a lock, unlike all other rooms. She adds that she is a hostage and a slave in that jail. Latifa also reveals that her life is in danger.

The Princess looks puffy and pale, and she cannot even receive a little sunlight. She reveals a villa that feels like a jail because all the windows and doors are shut. Besides, there are always two policewomen inside the villa and five policemen outside. There is no chance that she can even go out to get some fresh air. Latifa also mentions that her villa is nearby the beach and in a very posh neighborhood.

The fight for Latifa’s release is still on.

According to Ken Roth, The Human Rights Watch Executive Director, it is not fine to pretend everything is alright just because Latifa lives in a villa. The woman is in imprisonment and more so in solitary confinement. It is nothing short of torture to live a life like that of her, and the fear is evident by the way Latifa speaks in her video. She seems desperate to come out, and it is a very urgent case.

In another recording, Latifa mentions that she is constantly worrying about her life and is unsure whether she will survive the crisis. She was receiving police threats regarding lifelong imprisonment too. Overall, she is very unsafe, and despite knowing anything can happen, she tactfully documents her incredible story. The Princess seems to hold up quite well in her recordings and says that she wants the world to know about her condition. She states that no one can pull her into any propaganda. So, she needs to inform everyone about her situation beforehand.

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In the face of questions, the Sheikh and Latifa’s father reveals his thoughts about this incident. It seems that the Dubai ruler looks at Latifa’s comeback to Dubai as a rescue operation. Earlier in 2018, after Latifa’s escape news, UAE was facing a lot of pressure from the UN Assembly. The officials were demanding to know all details regarding her whereabouts. They were also demanding from the Sheikh proper proof of the Princess being alive.

The Royal Family’s plan goes in vain.

Once, Princess Haya visited Latifa and asked her out for lunch. Little was the Princess aware that the whole situation was nothing but a setup. Haya told her to act as normal as she can in public because it was part of a test. She said to her that it was to prove how she reacted to the public after such prolonged detention. If she can do everything well, then her release will not take much time. However, all that the royal family was planning was to show that Latifa was mentally unstable with Bipolar Disorder.

Pictures of the Princess having lunch with Mary Robinson were doing the rounds of the internet. Everything looked normal, and the Princess was looking happy. Therefore, everything went as per plan, and little did she know that Mary Robinson was part of the plan. During an interview, Ms. Robinson said that she was fretting about any reaction from Latifa during the nice lunch, so she kept quiet. However, later Latifa realized that it was a plan when there was no discussion about her confinement during the meeting.

After the incident, there was no improvement in Latifa’s condition. However, the Sheikh was turning very hostile towards Haya because of her keenness in Latifa’s case. One day, Haya landed up in the UK after escaping from Dubai with her two children seeking political asylum. This angered the Sheikh a lot, and he filed a suit against Princess Haya, seeking custody of his children. The case was soon turning in favor of the Sheikh, but that was not to last very long.

Latifa’s friends are gearing up for a new fight.

By March 2020, the High Court was well aware of the whole incident and that Haya was in danger. Besides, it was also clear that Latifa was in imprisonment too. There was news of another daughter of the Sheikh, Shamsa. This woman was under arrest and taken back to Dubai in a very similar way to that of Latifa. It was a sudden abduction from the Cambridge University where Shamsa was pursuing her degree. Since then, she is also living in imprisonment, much like Latifa.

All this was like a breakthrough for Tiina Jauhiainen, who was now ready once again to fight for her friend. While on the one hand, the royal family of Dubai is continually trying to highlight that Latifa is in the loving care of her family, Tiina is trying to prove otherwise. She mentions how all this while Latifa was in contact with Marcus, her maternal cousin in the UK, and David Haigh, the Free Latifa organization’s co-founder.

The three of them are working relentlessly on bringing out all of Latifa’s old videos. They are more in pressure presently because all contacts with the Princess are unavailable. Besides, they are unaware of the consequences. Tiina, David, and Marcus are spending sleepless nights worrying about Latifa because the last time they saw her, she was extremely fragile and sick too.

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