The wife of Dubai's ruler has reportedly fled the United Arab Emirates with their young son and daughter and sought asylum in London.
Princess Haya fears that she may now be abducted herself and "rendered" back to Dubai.
It comes after one of the Sheikh's daughter's Princess Latifa fled Dubai a year ago, when she vanished off the coast of Goa.
Arab media have also reported that Haya (who is one of the Sheikh's several wives) was assisted in her escape by a German diplomat, but this is unconfirmed.
Maktoum has launched an unprecedented legal action against Haya in the Family Division of the High Court. The case is set to be one of the most expensive and fiercely contested in history, with the couple employing Britain's two best-known celebrity divorce lawyers to represent them.
The family friend said: 'You have to understand that Princess Haya would have had nearly nothing to do with Latifa.
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"Every day I am amazed by the things he does", she told Emirates Woman magazine in 2016.
But her close links to the country mean it is extremely unlikely the authorities would force her to return to Dubai.
Princess Haya with Queen Elizabeth at the Royal Windsor Horse show in 2009.
It follows the departure from Dubai of one of her husband's daughters past year. She went on to Oxford where she read PPE at St Hilda's College. She knows Sheikh Mohammed, 69, extremely well.
She has not been seen since trying to flee the family's $135 million estate in Surrey in 2000, aged 19.
She also said that strong economic ties between UAE and Jordan may have prevented Haya from fleeing to her home country, which would have put pressure on her brother to send her back to the UAE. Through his mother, born Antoinette Gardiner, he is half-British.
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Sheikh Mohammed's daughter, Latifa, allegedly attempted to flee the kingdom in a high-profile saga in April 2018, after releasing a video detailing years of horrific abuse and torture she suffered at the hands of her father and the Emirati authorities.
It added, "Harrow and Sandhurst-educated King Hussein was always close to the Royals".
The wife of Dubai's ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum has left him - and taken $56 million to start a new life, it is understood.
File Photo: Princess Haya bint al-Hussein of Jordan with her husband at Royal Ascot.
The ruler has rebuked the Princess' move accusing her of "betrayal" and pointing out he was ready to dump her to whoever she will come across. She is seeking asylum and a divorce.
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