Missing Dubai princess Latifa 'brought back' after attempted escape

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Latifa, 32, was allegedly seized from a ship off India after appearing on a YouTube video announcing her escape

Dubai princess, Latifa al-Maktoum, said in a video published in March that she had run away (screengrab)
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Last update: 
Wednesday 18 April 2018 11:29 UTC
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An Emirati princess who is the daughter of the ruler of Dubai has been "brought back", after claiming to have run away from her father, reports said on Tuesday.

Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum, 32, who said in a video published in March that she had run away, was tracked down, and now "with her family", a source close to the Dubai government told AFP. 

"What I can confirm is they took her, and she was brought back," the source said. 

Latifa, a daughter of Dubai ruler Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, first appeared in a YouTube video in March, announcing she was about to flee.

"I'm making this video because it could be the last video I make," she began.

Dressed simply in a t-shirt with her hair pulled back and sat by a curtained window, the young woman appeared to be filming the video herself.

She said she was the daughter of the Dubai ruler and an Algerian mother, Horriya Ahmed, and that she had tried to escape in years past - before she had access to the internet.

"Pretty soon I'm going to be leaving somehow and I'm not so sure of the outcome, but I'm 99 percent positive it will work. And, if it doesn't, then this video can help me because all my father cares about is his reputation," Latifa said.

"My father is the most evil person I have ever met in my life. He's pure evil. There's nothing good in him."

Over the past month, Latifa's cause has been taken up by a UK-based group called Detained in Dubai, which claims to assist victims of injustice across the United Arab Emirates.

Detained in Dubai has since launched a vocal media campaign on behalf of the royal.

The group said the young woman attempted to flee Dubai by ship, but the vessel was intercepted on 4 March - less than 50 miles off the coast of India.

The source close to Dubai's government said it was a "private matter" that had been "exploited"- accusing rival Qatar of fueling the campaign.

"It is a domestic issue that transformed into a soap opera that transformed into a rampaging scheme to tarnish the reputation of Dubai and Sheikh Mohammed," the source said.

He said Latifa's three main companions who participated in the escape attempt - a Finnish woman and two French men, one with dual US citizenship - were wanted in Dubai on previous charges.

They told Detained in Dubai that both of them were detained in Dubai for two weeks "following a violent raid".