Who Is Latifa?

Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum (II).jpg
Latifa Al Maktoum, a daughter of the ruler of Dubai, has been held against her will since March 2018.

Princess Latifa, 35, tried to leave Dubai in March 2018 but was abducted in international waters and forcibly returned. She has been held against her will ever since.

Latifa is a princess, or “sheikha,” in Dubai. She is a daughter of Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

More than three years ago, Latifa planned her escape from Dubai with the help of her friend Tiina Jauhiainen. They traveled through the bordering country of Oman and boarded a yacht captained by former French intelligence officer Herve Jaubert. Together, they crossed the Indian Ocean in the U.S.-flagged yacht, with the plan to ultimately fly Latifa to the U.S. to request asylum.

But on March 4, 2018, warships from India and the United Arab Emirates intercepted the boat. Latifa screamed and pleaded for asylum, but special forces from the United Arab Emirates abducted her and returned her to Dubai.

Since then, advocates from around the world have called for her release, using the hashtag #FreeLatifa. They have also called for the release of her sister Shamsa, who was abducted in 2002 and has now been held for nearly 20 years.

What Can I Do?

First, talk about Latifa’s story. Not enough people know this story yet, especially in the U.S. Share videos and news articles on social media. You can find items to share on this website, and more information can be found online.

Next, tell your elected representatives that you want your country to help free Latifa. If you live in the U.S. and/or are a U.S. citizen, click here for actions you can take.