Emirati prince flees to Qatar then criticises Abu Dhabi
An Emirati prince is seeking asylum in Qatar after fleeing the UAE saying he feared for his life because of a dispute with the rulers of oil-rich Abu Dhabi, the New York Times reported on Sunday.
Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad al-Sharqi, 31, is the second son of the emir of Fujairah, one of the seven monarchies making up the United Arab Emirates.
He arrived in Doha on 16 May, the report said. Abu Dhabi is the capital and richest emirate of the UAE.
The report said that Sheikh Rashid’s flight to Doha appeared to be the first time in the UAE's nearly 47-year history that a member of one of its seven royal families had publicly criticised its rulers.
“I am the first in a royal family going out of the UAE and telling everything about them,” he was quoted in the report as saying.
Speaking to the New York Times, Sheikh Rashid accused Emirati rulers of blackmail and money laundering, but did not offer evidence to back up his claims.
He also spoke of tensions within Emirati elites over the UAE's commitment of troops in the war in Yemen.
Sheikh Rashid said there had been more UAE war deaths than the 100 that have been reported publicly and added that "there have been more deaths from Fujairah than anywhere else".
The UAE and Saudi Arabia have led a campaign to isolate Qatar diplomatically and economically.
Qatar has thus far declined to publicly acknowledge Sheikh Rashid’s presence, the Times reported, though a person close to Qatar’s royal family said they were allowing him to stay.
A representative of the Emirati Embassy in Washington declined to comment, and the rulers of Fujairah could not be reached, the Times said.
This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.