Dubai ruler to pay $700M to his ex-wife in divorce settlement

LONDON (AP), Tuesday, February 8, 2012 -- In one of the most costly divorce settlements in British History, a British court ordered that the ruler of Dubai pay his ex-wife as well as their children, close to 550million pounds ($730million).

Dubai ruler to pay $700M to his ex-wife in divorce settlement

High Court ruled that Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum had to pay 251.5 million pounds for Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein and continue payments for their children Al Jalila (14 years) and Zayed (9 years), underpinned by a bank guarantee totalling 290 million pounds.

The amount that the children receive may be greater or lesser than 290million pounds depending on how long they live and if they make peace with their father. The agreement includes 11 million pounds per year for security costs to Princess Haya and her children while they're minors.

Judge Philip Moor stated that the family required "watertight security" and that Sheikh Mohammed was the primary threat to them.

Haya, 47 years old, fled to the U.K. and sought custody through British courts for her two children. The princess, who is the son of King Hussein of Jordan said that she was terrified of her husband who is alleged have ordered two of his daughters to be returned to the Gulf Emirate.

Sheikh Mohammed, 72 years old, is also vice president and prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates. He is also a prominent horse breeder. He is the founder of the Godolphin horse-racing stable and is friendly with Queen Elizabeth II.

Haya is a graduate from Oxford University and also enjoys equestrian sports. She competed in show jumping at the 2000 Sydney Olympics for Jordan.

In October, a separate British family court judge ruled that Princess Haya had been hacked by Sheikh Mohammed during their legal battle.

Judge Andrew McFarlane stated that the sheikh authorized the hacking of the phones of the princess, her lawyers and their computers using Pegasus spyware by NSO Group in Israel. This software is only licensed to the nation states for their security services.

Sheikh Mohammed denied knowing about the hacking.

McFarlane had ruled previously that Sheikh Mohammed had waged a campaign against his estranged wife. He also "ordered" and orchestrated the kidnapping and forced return to Dubai for two of his adult daughters, Sheikha Shamsa (August 2000) and Sheikha Latifa (2002 and 2018).

The divorce bill surpasses the settlement of 450 million pounds Tatiana Akhmedova received in 2016 from Farkhad Akhmedov. It was at that time called Britain's most expensive divorce.

Tuesday's settlement provides a holiday budget amounting to 5.1 million pounds. This is just over 450,000 pounds per year for children's staff, and approximately 275,000 pounds each for their animals (two ponies and one horse).

Although it is rare, financial divorce settlements can be appealed in England.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Sheikh Mohammed stated that the ruler had "always ensured that his kids are provided for." He has not yet made any comment on the court's decision regarding finances.