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'Runaway princess' daughter of Dubai ruler missing after posting chilling 'last' video on YouTube

Mirror logo Mirror 17/03/2018 Natalie Evans
Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum wearing a hat: Credits: AFP © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: AFP

A 'runaway princess' who says she is the daughter of Dubai's ruler has gone missing after posting a chilling 'last' video on YouTube.

The footage of Sheikah Latifa Mohammed Al Maktoum, 32, was released by her lawyer after she reportedly went missing off the coast of Goa, in India.

In the clip, she says she is the daughter of Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.

Latifa claims she doesn't have the freedom to live her own life in Dubai - and was secretly detained in prison for three years after a previous failed escape attempt.

She claims she was drugged in hospital by doctors to stop her rebelling.

a person smiling for the camera: Credits: YouTube/Escape from Dubai © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: YouTube/Escape from Dubai She says she is one of 30 children of Sheikh Mohammed, who has six wives, and has left the strict Arab state, she claims, with the help of a former French spy.

Latifa was understood to be hiding on a yacht off the coast of southern India and is expected to seek political asylum in the United States where she had made contact with a lawyer.

She released her claims in a video from her hideout on Friday, March 9.

But charity Detained in Dubai, which has been in contact with Latifa, says she has since issued a distress message followed by a "panicked and frightened" phone call.

Detained in Dubai say she rang them and said: "Please help. There are men outside. I hear gunshots and I am hiding with my friend."

A Whatsapp message from Latifa added: "Please help. I don't know what's happening."

Latifa claims she has not been allowed to leave Dubai since 2000, is not allowed to drive and has her movements monitored round the clock.

She says she has to adhere to a strict curfew and doesn't have the freedom others enjoy in the country that is one of he most popular tourist destinations in the world.

Her father, the 68-year-old patriarch, is on close speaking terms with the Queen over their shared passion for horse racing and meet at Royal Ascot each year.

But while he is well known on the horse racing circuit, his family life in Dubai is a closely-guarded secret.

Latifa says she is the daughter of one of the less well-known wives of the Sheikh.

a close up of Nargis Fakhri: Credits: YouTube/Escape from Dubai © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: YouTube/Escape from Dubai She says she has two other sisters and is one of three daughters the Sheikh has named Latifa.

She does not have a public profile and since allegedly fleeing the country her social media accounts have been shut down.

Prior to leaving, she recorded an emotional video explaining in shocking detail her reasons for wanting to escape.

In the footage, Latifa speaks in a calm voice on the video as she explains her reasons for fleeing the country.

"I do not have the freedom that people have. Freedom of choice is not something we have," she says in the video.

She said she is not allowed to keep her own passport and if she goes out in Dubai she has an assigned driver.

She says: "I am very restricted, and cannot even go to another emirate without permission. I have not left Dubai since 2000."

Before making her bid for freedom Latifa contacted the Detained in Dubai who have used their extensive contacts in the United Arab Emirates to try to authenticate her identity and claims.

They say they have spoken to close associates of Latifa who have confirmed she is the daughter of the Dubai ruler and a member of the royal family.

They are also in possession of a copy of a passport, which states that the holder is a member of the ruling family of Dubai.

Latifa said after her failed escape attempt when she was 16 years old and her subsequent treatment she became suspicious of people and would spend all her time with animals.

In an attempt to prove her identity she lists where she went to school, her hobbies and begs people who have met her through horse riding and skydiving to verify her identity when they see the video.

"I am looking forward to a better life, a start of new chapter in my life. There is no reason to stay in Dubai and no reason to come back here," she says.

The video appears to have been shot in a hotel room with Latifa sitting by a window with a cream coloured curtain.

While she remains composed during the film, her voice chokes with emotion.

She chillingly ends the video by saying: "If I don't make it out, I hope that some change will come."

Detained in Dubai contacted Scotland Yard on March 5 and reported her as a missing person.

David Haigh from the group - which is appealing for lawyers and investigators to offer their assistance - said they had made exhaustive inquiries to verify that the woman is genuine and not a hoax.

a man wearing a hat: Credits: Getty © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Getty The plea for help began over two weeks ago when Detained in Dubai received an email from Latifa.

Radha Stirling, founder of Detained in Dubai, said she was now gravely concerned for the princess's safety.

She said: "We are very concerned for the safety of the missing persons. We have already been inundated with calls and emails and evidence that assist us and the authorities.

"We appeal to anyone for any information that could be helpful to please get in touch with us. We would also like to appeal to anyone that can assist with the search. Lawyers, Human rights organisations, friends, family or even the General public.

"The missing persons requested our assistance and instructed us to assist them in in the event of their arrest or disappearance, which we are now doing.

"We are liaising with authorities, leading human rights lawyers and human rights organisations."

Her reported father, who is best known in Britain for being one of the top racehorse owners, is credited with turning Dubai into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.

He succeeded his brother in 2006 to become the ruler of Dubai and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates.

Maktoum's greatest passion is horseracing and he is the owner of the Godolphin stables, which has produced some of the leading thoroughbreds in the sport.

a man standing in a parking lot: Credits: Reuters © Provided by Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited Credits: Reuters Estimated to have a personal fortune of £15bn, in the last 15 years he has transformed Dubai into one of the most modern cities in the world.

Maktoum was behind the Palm Islands, the Burj Al-Arab hotel, the Burj Khalifa skyscraper that dominates the skyline of the city.

He also helped start Emirates airlines, sponsors of Arsenal and Paris St Germain football teams. His first marriage was in 1979 and later wed the daughter of the King of Jordan.

A website for information on the missing woman has been launched.

David Haigh added: "The story of the missing princess has touched the hearts of so many. We have had offers of help from as far away as Peru from people that followed her on her Instagram account, now deleted, to here at home with so many Leeds United fans following her story".

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