Boycott Dubai: Let Latifa Go

I don’t know where to begin when it comes to the missing Princess Latifa and her sister Shamsa.  It would be absolutely contrary to my very essence if I did not speak out about what has happened with Latifa.  As a result, GLO will be picking up the mantle and helping the #FreeLatifa campaign. We are also creating a new initiative where human rights are concerned and that is to #BoycottDubai.


Princess Latifa was born into Arabian royalty but it’s not the same kind of royalty that one would associate with royalty in—let’s say—a continent like Europe.  Latifa was born into a culture and environment where women are not given freewill and their choices and lives are controlled by men.


In Dubai, Personal Status laws are thoroughly enforced and women’s rights are dependent on the approval of their male guardians.  Up until 2019, one requirement in the status law was that a woman had to be “obedient” to her husband. If a woman in the United Arab Emirates decides that she wants to work or vote, her male guardian or spouse has the power to prevent her from doing so.  Princess Latifa has wishes to attend university and travel outside of her country but she has been blocked from doing so. Her passport has been taken away and she is currently living under inhumane conditions.  


What’s happening with Princess Latifa?


Princess Latifa is being held hostage by her father, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, who is the leader and Prime Minister of Dubai.   She was last seen in March 2018 aboard a yacht that she tried to leave the country in before it was intercepted and raided by Indian commando officers.  Life became so unbearable for Latifa that she sought to escape from it not once but twice.  Like many women, she had goals for herself that she wanted to complete but her father asserted his rule in her life and prevented her from doing so.  This was only the beginning of the torture and abuse Latifa would then go on to experience as a result of defying her father.


Latifa speaks on the torture and abuse she’s experienced due to her father


She was illegally kidnapped and captured by an Indian commando unit the night of her second attempt to escape on March 4th, 2018.  The yacht crew that helped her was savagely beat and Latifa was also brutally beat.  Mohammed ordered officers to beat her until she died with one troop member stating, “Your father told us to beat you until we kill you.”  Latifa made secret video recordings to tell others about what she experienced at the hands of her father, Mohammed.  After her first attempt to escape, she was locked away for three years where she was beat all the time and one time for 5 hours straight!  She was tortured and kept in confinement where she described her mattress as blood and feces soaked.  At times, she would wake up to harassing sounds where she would then be dragged ruthlessly to her whipping chamber. The torture sessions that Latifa endured went on for three years before she was allowed to leave the prison.   It was this experience that led Latifa to carefully plan her second attempt at escaping. 

Mohammed is not what he seems, says Latifa


Latifa issued a shocking description of her father. A man who gallants at events like Royal Ascot and calls the Queen friend.


“He is the most evil person I’ve ever met in my life. He’s pure evil. There’s nothing good in him. He’s responsible for so many people’s deaths and ruining so many people’s lives,” she expressed.  “He’s doesn’t care about anyone.  He only cares about his image, his reputation and he will gladly kill somebody but he doesn’t do the dirty work himself, he’ll just get other people to do it,” noted Latifa.  “He’s the worst criminal you can ever imagine in your life. He’s neglected so many of his kids. He’s not a father. He’s really disgusting..a really disgusting human being”


Latifa even admitted that Mohammed killed one of his past wives because he felt her behavior was too much.  One unfortunate admission that Latifa made was that she and her sister were tranquilized by injection to keep them docile and quiet. They are being treated as mentally ill for the simple fact that they are defying personal status laws.  Obviously, the women are not ill, they only want to be able to make simple decisions for their life as any woman should be able to.  Her sister Shamsa tried to escape and she unfortunately endured the same inhumane process of tranquilization and torture.


Latifa deserves respect for her bravery and willful mind to speak out against her cruel father.   Princess Latifa risked her life so many times to achieve freedom of choice, a right that any human should have. It was her desire to put a recording out in case she was never heard from again.


We want to see Latifa receive her freedom. What about you?



What can you do as a Green News Guide reader? There are two steps that GLO wants you to take in this particular situation:


1.) You can start by taking a stand against the cruel treatment that Latifa and other women like her have received in emirate countries with your signature.  A petition was created on to help put pressure on the Dubai government to provide evidence that Latifa is alive. We’re so close to the goal of 50,000 strong. Please sign here:


2.) The next step that GLO is urging you to do is to boycott Dubai.  Yes, GLO wants you to #boycottdubai until we have evidence that Latifa is alive and well.  DO NOT visit Dubai. DO NOT vacation there. Do not step foot in Dubai until its governing ruler can rectify its horrendous issues pertaining to women’s rights and gender equality.  Until Mohammed can allow his daughters and female Dubai citizens the freedom that they wish for, do not support the country by boosting its tourism sector. This is a serious matter and the leader of Dubai MUST make changes so that women can have freedom of choice.