Dubai| 28-year-old Hamdan bin Mohammed Al Maktoum, the crown prince of Dubai, announced this morning his engagement to Kalila Said, a Palestinian refugee who grew up in the streets of a shantytown near the Arab metropolis. The second-oldest son of ruler Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum met the 23-year old woman while working on a charity project in March of last year in one of the capital’s disadvantaged neighbourhoods and the two have rapidly developed a symbiotic relationship.
Sheikh Hamdan’s love life has been the object of much speculation over the years . He remained in a monogamous and serious relationship with one of his half-cousins from 2008 to 2013, despite the fact that he was engaged to his cousin Sheikha Sheikha Al Maktoum. This relationship ended sourly however in January 2013, just a few months before the Prince met his new love. His arranged marriage has also recently been cancelled for reasons that were not made public.
This charming Prince was a well known “lady’s prize” for a long time. He not only writes poetry, but he is also passionate about horses. Affectionately known as Fazza, meaning “the courageous,” the name under which he publishes his poetry, he is known for his strong penchant for fast cars and skydiving. He is a graduate from the Sandhurst Royal Military Academy and also attended the London School of Economics and Political Science. Prince Hamdan even won a team gold medal at the 15th Asian Games in 2006 in a horseback riding competition. He also owns an incredible collections of camels, and he once paid US$4.5 million for 16 beautiful specimens at a camel beauty pageant in the emirate of Abu Dhabi. Handsome, brave and exotic: what more could a girl ask for?
Well despite Hamdan’s status and good looks, he had to court the young woman with insistence for over three months before she accepted to start seeing him. The recipient of a Royal scholarship for exceptional merit and psychology graduate from the American Universtiy of Dubai did however end up succumbing to the Prince’s charm and the two rapidly became almost inseparable.
According to rumors circulating in the country, Hamdan’s father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, threatened last November to disinherit his son if he pursued the relationship, but to no avail. The young man chose love over his title and situation, bringing his father to reconsider his position. The Sheikh finally seems to have accepted the situation and even gave his blessing to the new couple.