Mansions, Race Horses, And Limitless Money: The Lavish Lifestyle Behind Dubai Royals' Record Divorce Settlement

The ruler of Dubai was today ordered by the High Court in London to pay his former wife around 550 million pounds as divorce settlement.

The legal battle between Dubai's ruler and his ex-wife has brought to forefront the lavish lifestyle of the the ultra-rich Middle Eastern royalty.

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai, was today ordered by the High Court in London to pay his former wife, Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein, around 550 million pounds ($730 million) - reportedly the highest divorce settlement set by an English court.

The settlement amount will go towards the upkeep of Princess Haya's British mansions and to cover the future security costs of her and their children.

Here are the details of the royal couple's lifestyle that was listed in the ruling:

'Limitless' money in Dubai

Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, who is currently the vice-president and prime minister of UAE, got married to Princess Haya in 2004. The judgment states that she divorced her in 2019 under the Sharia law without her knowledge.

The Princess' lawyers told the court that when in Dubai, she and the children had access to 'limitless' money.

Princess Haya had access to over a dozen luxurious mansions, a 400 million pounds yacht, and a fleet of private planes, her lawyers told the court.

According to the ruling, she used to get 83 million pounds annually for her household, along with 9 million pounds spending money.

Blackmail using children's money

The 72-year-old ruler of the emirate of Dubai has long been locked in a bitter legal battle with his 47-year-old former wife, who lives in London with their two children, aged 13 and nine.

During one of the hearings, Princess Haya was questioned about a 6.7 million pounds payment she made to cover up her affair with one of the bodyguards. To make the payment, she used money from the children's bank accounts.

"I was very frightened," Haya said when asked why she had used money from the children's accounts to pay them off. "I was scared and that was the money that was available in that amount."

Mansions in London

Of the total divorce settlement, 251.5 million pounds would go towards the upkeep of Princess Haya's houses in London.

In 2016, Princess Haya bought a mansion near Kensington Palace for 87.5 million pounds and then spent 14.7 million pounds in getting it refurbished, the court was told.

The Dubai ruler has been ordered to make payments that would cover a 10-year refurbishment project of the house and also cover the salaries of five housekeepers.

"We always kept it to a very high standard and that is the amount of people needed to keep it as it is now," Princess Haya said.

She has also sought a yearly payment of 770,000 pounds for the maintenance of her Castlewood mansion in Berkshire.

400 racehorses

Princess Haya said that she and their children owned over 60 racehorses, for whom she sought 75 million pounds in compensation. While being married to the Sheikh, she bought nearly 400 racehorses.

"If I wanted a horse, I bought one," Princess Haya told the court.

Holidays and leisure

During her marriage, the family spent 631,000 pounds on one summer vacation in Italy, and on another occasion the bill for a hotel in Greece was 274,000 euros, the court said in its ruling.

Princess Haya would get money for two weeks of vacation in Britain and to travel abroad nine weeks every year.

Judge Philip Moor said that the annual award for holidays would be 5.1 million pounds a year, with 1 million pounds each for hiring private plane and food expenditure.

The court awarded Princess Haya a further 1 million pounds to spend on leisure. He also granted 277,050 pounds a year for spending on pets, including 25,000 pounds to buy horses and 12,000 pounds for toys, grooming, and training of unspecified animals.

Clothes and jewellery

Princess Haya in her testimony said that her ex-husband used to regularly spoil her with lavish gifts during their marriage, and was awarded 13.7 million pounds as compensation for what she claimed were missing jewellery and clothes. She had initially sought 52 million pounds for the missing items.

She said her collection of haute couture was worth about 74 million euros, and only the most basic items had been returned to her after she fled to Britain.

"If you put all the pieces in that room spread across this courtroom, it would be full," Haya said. "I was spoiled with wonderful gifts which I enjoyed very, very much at the time."

In a 23-minute video presented during the hearing, the judge could be seen walking into a safe in the Dubai palace where the jewellery was kept. The judge said that what was left in the safe seemed "standard fare".