The 2010 disclosure of various U.S. diplomatic cables by Wikileaks and several other news outlets unearthed the dirty little secrets of various royal families all over the world. Perhaps no one royal emerged more embarrassed by this U.S. State Department security breach than Crown Prince Hamdan bin Mohammed al Maktoum of Dubai. Still considered among the world’s handsomest and most eligible princes, Wikileaks exposed documents written by American diplomats stating that the heir to Dubai’s throne was an out of control drug addict that’s been in and out of rehab for years, and that he’s a bisexual party boy that enjoys flying in male and female escorts to his father’s desert kingdom for weekend orgies. According to the Dec. 2, 2012 post “, Drug-addicted Dubai Crown Prince Hamdan: following the usual footsteps of the Arab Royal Family,” posted on the blog The Muslim Issue, Worldwide, within a few days of the cables’ disclosure they were removed from Wikileaks’ website, which to this day makes them the only documents concerning a member of a royal family to have been successfully expunged from their database. This is apparently but one example of the drastic measures the Sheik Mohammed bin Rasheed al Maktoum of Dubai is willing to take in order to salvage the reputation of his favorite son and designated heir.
Born the second son in a family that currently contains 23 children, Prince Hamdan was declared his father’s successor in 2008. Dubai is something of a geopolitical anomaly. While most people presume its either a sovereign nation or city state, its technically neither. Instead, Dubai exists as a semi-autonomous kingdom, or emirate, within a federation of such kingdoms known as the United Arab Emirates. Founded in the early ’70’s, the King of Abu Dhabi is its hereditary president, whereas the King of Dubai serves as its hereditary vice president. Dubai is both the name of the kingdom and its capital city.
Crown Prince Hamdan, who writes poetry in his spare time under the pen name Fazza and also likes to spend his free time engaging in various dare devil sports, has a generally favorable reputation within his father’s emirate, though certain eccentricities of His Highness’ character and lifestyle have been noticed but are rarely commented on by his countrymen. Some of the more interesting rumors that have made their way to the author’s ear blowing from the general direction of Dubai concerning Prince Hamdan’s private life include that he privately doesn’t consider himself gay or straight, but prefers to label himself simply as sexual; he prefers for his friends, family and lovers to call him Fazza; he possesses a large and eccentric menagerie of wild pets that include at least one white tiger and four alligators; he’s friendly, charming and down to Earth; and that his married and procreating little brothers are jealous of him and eager to use his continued, self chosen bachelorhood as a means by which to talk their father into disinheriting Hamdan and designating one of them as the successor.
Needless to write, Sheik Mohammed appears willing to allow his heir to indulge in his private lifestyle and generally looks the other way concerning Hamdan’s vices. This is a particularly fortuitous circumstance for the Crown Prince, for Dubai’s laws concerning homosexuality and drug use are as draconian and potentially life terminating as those of their fellow Arab, Muslim neighbors.
According to The Muslim Issue’s last post concerning Dubai’s heir apparent, he had just finished his latest rumored stint in some presumably European rehab, and after several months of having disappeared from public view had now resumed his role as his dessert kingdom’s primary diplomatic spokes model. While undoubtedly spoiled and self indulgent, Crown Prince Hamdan appears to be a privately liberal and forward thinking young man who will hopefully advance the cause of civil liberties in his kingdom should he survive to inherit his father’s throne. One can always hope!