Haya bint Hussein

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Haya bint Hussein
HRH Princess Haya of Jordan meets with Tracy Edwards MBE (cropped).jpg
Princess Haya in 2017
Born (1974-05-03) 3 May 1974 (age 45)
Amman, Jordan
IssueSheikha Jalila
Sheikh Zayed
FatherHussein of Jordan
MotherAlia Toukan

Princess Haya bint Hussein (Arabic: الأميرة هيا بنت الحسين‎; born 3 May 1974), commonly known as Princess Haya of Jordan, is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan and his third wife Queen Alia, and the half-sister of King Abdullah II.

She is a graduate of Oxford University in England and an accomplished equestrian, she represented Jordan at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia and is the two-term President of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI). In addition, she engages in a variety of charitable activities.

In 2004, Haya married the ruler of the Emirate of Dubai, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, becoming his sixth wife; the Sheikh’s senior wife, Hind bint Maktoum bin Juma Al Maktoum, remained First Lady of Dubai. In June 2019, Haya fled from her husband in Dubai with her two children and is currently seeking asylum in the United Kingdom, while conducting legal proceedings over custody of the children.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

King Hussein and Queen Alia with their children Prince Ali and Princess Haya, 1976

She was born in Amman, the capital of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the daughter of King Hussein and his third wife, Queen Alia, she has a younger brother, Prince Ali bin Hussein born on 23 December 1975, and older sister, Abir Muhaisen (born 1973), the latter of whom was adopted by Haya's parents after her biological mother was killed by a plane crash at their Palestinian refugee camp in Amman. In 1977, when Haya was 3 years old, her mother died in a helicopter crash, her father died from complications related to non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 1999, leaving the crown to her half-brother, King Abdullah II.

She was educated in the United Kingdom, where in 1985, she attended the Badminton School near Bristol, and later the Bryanston School in Dorset. From 1993 to 1995, she was enrolled at St Hilda's College, Oxford University, from which she graduated with a BA honours degree in philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE).[2][3][4]

Sports career[edit]

Princess Haya began horse riding internationally when she was 13.[5] In 1992, she took the bronze medal in individual Jumping at the seventh Pan Arab Games in Damascus, Syria, and in 1993 was named Jordan’s athlete of the year.[5] Princess Haya was the first woman to represent her native Jordan in international equestrian sport and the only woman to win a medal in the Pan-Arab Equestrian Games.[6] Having trained for several years in Ireland and Germany,[5] she qualified for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia representing Jordan in show jumping, where she was also her country’s flag bearer.[7]

In 2007, Princess Haya became a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), and in 2010 became an appointee to the IOC's International Relations Committee, and has also served on the IOC Athletes’ and Culture and Olympic Education Commissions.[5]

On 7 June 2008, New Approach, a three-year-old colt owned by Princess Haya, trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger and ridden by Kevin Manning, won the Derby Stakes. On 25 October 2008, her three-year-old colt, Raven's Pass, won the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. After being named the European champion 2-year-old in 2007 and winning the 2008 Epsom Derby, New Approach was retired at the end of the 2008 racing season.[8] In 2009, due to her contribution to the equine world, she was made the first Patron of Retraining of Racehorses.[9]

Princess Haya serves as president of the International Jordanian Athletes Cultural Association, which she founded to provide athletes with needed national incentive and support.[5]

International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI)[edit]

Princess Haya (right) congratulating FEI 2012 award winner Courtney King-Dye

Princess Haya participated in the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games at Jerez de la Frontera in Spain,[7] and represented Jordan at the FEI General Assembly on several occasions,[5] she was elected president of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI) in 2006 for an initial four-year term in the FEI's first contested presidential race.[10] In 2010, she became the first sitting FEI president to be challenged in a re-election bid,[10] she succeeded, however, in winning a second and final four-year term, receiving 75 percent of the vote to soundly defeat her two European rivals.[11] Nonetheless, during the FEI's campaign to eliminate doping and horse abuse in equestrian sport, Princess Haya's husband and stepson were both convicted by the FEI in 2009 for serious doping violations. Princess Haya ceded presidential powers to a senior colleague for the FEI disciplinary processes on the matter, she later complained that the issue would be used to "injure and damage the reputations of myself and my family."[12]

Princess Haya frequently appeared, along with her husband, at Royal Ascot, the Epsom Derby and other highlights of the English equestrian calendar; both are reported to be friendly with Queen Elizabeth II.[13]


Princess Haya is the first Arab and first woman to become Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations World Food Programme and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appointed her a UN Messenger of Peace in 2007.[14]

She founded Tkiyet Um Ali (TUA), the first Arab NGO dedicated to overcoming local hunger, in her native Jordan, which provides food assistance and employment opportunities to thousands of poor families. In November 2012, Tkiyet Um Ali announced a campaign to quadruple the number of its beneficiaries to reach 20,000 families living under the food poverty line, aiming to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals on hunger by 2015. Tkiyet Um Ali (TUA) is intended to expand to reach all Jordanian families with insufficient income to meet basic food needs. In addition, Dar Abu Abdullah (DAA) and TUA announced a strategic partnership[15] for a parallel jobs creation program to help TUA beneficiaries become more self-sufficient.[16]

Princess Haya chairs Dubai's International Humanitarian City which is the world's largest operational center for the delivery of aid, both in emergencies and for long-term development. Ten UN agencies and nearly 40 non-government organizations are members of the IHC which has supported relief efforts all over the globe, including for Syrian refugees affected by civil war, for East Africans during the last drought, in Pakistan during the 2009 floods, and to Afghanistan and Yemen; the IHC has also hosted UN and NGO staff evacuated during emergencies and civil unrest.

She was an ambassador for the World Food Programme 2005-2007,[17] and then appointed a UN Messenger of Peace in July 2007 by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, she was a founding member of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Global Humanitarian Forum based in Geneva, and writes editorials and articles on hunger, nutrition and the UN Sustainable Development Goals which have appeared in the London Times, Le Figaro, the Globe and Mail, and La Repubblica. In August 2012, she supported the 2012 United Nations' World Humanitarian Day in Dubai.[18] Under Her patronage, Dubai has twice hosted the Global Meeting of the World Food Programme and is increasingly a center for United Nations and regional meetings on development and humanitarian aid.

Relief and charitable programmes in Jordan have also benefitted from the support of the princess's consort, Sheikh Mohammed, specifically the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, the Haya Cultural Centre and the 'Reading Nation' campaign.[19]

Princess Haya and Tracy Edwards meeting in 2017

Princess Haya has followed in her father's footsteps in giving her support to the charitable foundation "Anything is possible", set up in the name of King Hussein to advance education for girls, including the project "The Maiden Factor", established by sailor Tracy Edwards with the relaunch of her yacht Maiden in 2018.[20][non-primary source needed]

She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.[21]

Personal life[edit]

On 10 April 2004, Princess Haya wed Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai; the marriage ceremony was held at al-Baraka Palace in Amman.[22][23]

On 2 December 2007 in Dubai, Princess Haya gave birth to her first child, Sheikha Jalila bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum;[24] the baby's birth coincided with the United Arab Emirates' 36th celebration of its National Day, on 2 December.[25] On 7 January 2012, she gave birth to her second child, Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.[26]

On 30 June 2019, she left Dubai with their children Zayed and Jalila and with £31 million, claiming to be in fear for her life,[27] she was reported to have applied for asylum in Germany, and the British newspaper The Times reported that she had been escorted by a German diplomat to Germany. The Times reported that Sheikh Al Maktoum allegedly posted a poem on Instagram, in Arabic and English, accusing his wife of treachery and betrayal.[27][28] The Times also stated that she was now living with her two children in a mansion near Kensington Palace worth about £85 million, had sought asylum in the United Kingdom, and was asking for a divorce and preparing for a legal battle in the High Court of Justice.[29][30][31][32]

On 5 July 2019, Princess Haya was sued in the High Court of Justice by her husband, petitioning for custody of their children.[33][34] On 30 July 2019 at the High Court, she filed for the sole custody of their two children, for a forced marriage protection order (FMPO), a non-molestation order, and non-repatriation to Dubai;[35] the next court proceedings and initial deliberations are scheduled on 11 November 2019.[36]




  1. ^ Princess Haya Bint al-Hussein: The Dubai royal 'hiding in London' dated 30 July 2019 at bbc.co.uk
  2. ^ "Gort Scott wins contest for Oxford University college extension". Dezeen. 17 March 2016. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  3. ^ "HRH PRINCESS HAYA BINT AL HUSSEIN WFP GOODWILL AMBASSADOR" (PDF). Documents.wfp.org. Retrieved 25 May 2017.
  4. ^ "St Hilda's College, Oxford releases concept designs for Redefining St Hilda's invited competition — Malcolm Reading Consultants". malcolmreading.co.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d e f "Two Stand Against HRH Princess Haya in FEI Presidential Election | eurodressage". www.eurodressage.com. 28 October 2010. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  6. ^ "FEI PRESIDENT HRH PRINCESS HAYA". International Federation for Equestrian Sports. Archived from the original on 14 October 2014. Retrieved 19 October 2014.
  7. ^ a b Thomas, Katie (24 September 2010). "Princess Haya of Jordan Has Shaken Up the Equestrian World". The New York Times.
  8. ^ "H.R.H. Princess Haya of Jordan". Archived from the original on 10 September 2011.
  9. ^ "Patronages". Archived from the original on 14 September 2012.
  10. ^ a b "Equestrian news from Horse & Hound". Horse & Hound. 1 February 2015.
  11. ^ Thomas, Katie (6 November 2010). "Princess Haya Re-elected President". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  12. ^ Graham Dunbar (12 April 2009). "Horse doping proves a royal headache for princess". USA Today.
  13. ^ Vivian Yee, David D. Kirkpatrick: Princess Haya, Wife of Dubai’s Ruler, Seeks Refuge in London, The New York Times, 2 July 2019
  14. ^ "FEI President HRH Princess Haya named OIE Goodwill Ambassador: OIE - World Organisation for Animal Health". www.oie.int. Retrieved 6 July 2019.
  15. ^ "Tkiyet Um Ali and Dar Abu Abdullah Join Hands to Support the Underprivileged". TKIYET UM ALI. Retrieved 14 December 2018.
  16. ^ "Tkiyet Um Ali". Tkiyet Um Ali. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  17. ^ "Princess Haya Al Hussein". Huffington Post. Retrieved 31 August 2012.
  18. ^ "HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein marks UN World Humanitarian Day | International Humanitarian City | AMEinfo.com". ameinfo.com. Archived from the original on 10 October 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
  19. ^ "King Abdullah lauds UAE, Mohammed's role in Arab world". Khaleej Times. 21 October 2016. Retrieved 25 October 2016.
  20. ^ "Anything is possible". Retrieved 7 December 2018.
  21. ^ "Honorary Board". IPC.
  22. ^ "HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein - profile". Archived from the original on 30 September 2005. Retrieved 7 March 2011.
  23. ^ "In this handout from the Royal Court of Jordan, Shiekh Mohamed Bin..." Getty Images.
  24. ^ "Jordan News Agency - Petra - Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, Princess Haya name their new baby girl Aljalila". Archived from the original on 29 January 2009.
  25. ^ "Photo from Reuters Pictures". daylife.com. Archived from the original on 7 February 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2015.
  26. ^ "Mohammed is blessed with a baby boy, names him 'Zayed'". Emirates 24|7. 8 January 2012. Retrieved 22 March 2017.
  27. ^ a b Valentine Low, David Brown, Jonathan Ames (3 July 2019). "Sheikh's wife seeks haven in UK 'fearing for her life'". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  28. ^ Wife of ruler of Dubai reportedly flees United Arab Emirates with her two children, www.abc.net.au, 1 Jule 2019
  29. ^ Sheikh’s wife Princess Haya ‘flees’ to London home, The Times, 2 July 2 2019
  30. ^ Bowcott, Owen; Hollingsworth, Mark (1 July 2019). "Dubai's ruler battles wife in UK court after she fled emirate". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 1 July 2019.
  31. ^ Frank Gardner (2 July 2019). "Princess Haya: Dubai ruler's wife in UK 'in fear of her life'". BBC security correspondent. Retrieved 2 July 2019.
  32. ^ Dubai ruler's wife flees to London in bid for political asylum Dubai ruler's wife flees to London in bid for political asylum, SBS News, 4 July 2019
  33. ^ Cristiana Moisescu: Dubai ruler sues wife Princess Haya in UK's High Court, CNN, 5 July 2019.
  34. ^ Collman, Ashley (5 July 2019). "The life of Princess Haya, the sixth wife of Dubai's ruler who has fled to the UK for a divorce". Business Insider Malaysia.
  35. ^ "Dubai ruler's wife seeks protection order". BBC News Website. 30 July 2019. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
  36. ^ "UK court sets November hearing for case of Dubai ruler and princess". Reuters. 31 July 2019.
  37. ^ "France Grants HRH Princess Haya the National Order of the Legion of Honor". princesshaya.net. 6 September 2014.
  38. ^ "Princess Haya To Receive WFP Hunger Hero Award In Davos". Retrieved 1 February 2017.
  39. ^ Royal Ark

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