The Emirati minister of tolerance has been accused of ‘serious sexual assault’ by the organiser of the Hay literary pageant in Abu Dhabi.
Caitlin McNamara suggests she was attacked by Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, 69, on Valentine’s Day previously this 12 months.
Ms McNamara, 32, who was in Abu Dhabi operating on the launch of the pageant in the town, has now been interviewed by Scotland Property.
She has waived her suitable to anonymity and, in an interview with the Sunday Instances, spoken publicly about the alleged assault.
The sheikh – who is a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling family and likes to be regarded as the ‘Sheikh of Hearts’ – denies any wrongdoing, and stated above the weekend that he was ‘surprised and saddened’ by the statements created by McNamara.
On Saturday, the administrators of the Hay pageant pledged under no circumstances to return to the UAE although the Sheikh remains in his publish as the minister of tolerance in the United Arab Emirates cabinet.
Nahyan has earlier hosted equally Boris Johnson when he was mayor of London and also former Key Minister Tony Blair.
Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan, 69, (pictured) has been accused by a British lady – Caitlin McNamara (correct), the organiser of the Hay literary competition in Abu Dhabi – of sexually assaulting her on Valentine’s day
Nahyan earlier hosted Boris Johnson in 2013 when the then mayor of London went to the Abu Dhabi as part of a trade mission
Sheikh Nahyan Mubarak Al Nahyan’s loved ones is the fourth richest royal loved ones in the entire world.
According to Small business Insider, it controls a sovereign prosperity fund with belongings believed to be worth £640bn, together with Manchester Town soccer group.
In 2013, Nahyan, who was educated in the United kingdom and attended Oxford College, welcomed Boris Johnson to Abu Dhabi when he came to the nation as section of a trade mission.
At the time, the sheikh was minister of society and youth. In the exact same position, he also hosted Tony Blair when he attended the opening of the UAE’s world wide training and techniques discussion board.
He and Blair were being formerly photographed alongside one another at the Volvo Ocean Race in Abu Dhabi.
Soon after he left office, Blair labored as a expert for UAE’s sovereign prosperity fund.
Ms McNamara had spent nearly 6 months working at the Sheikh’s ministry just after becoming employed by the Hay festival to organise its initially party in the UAE.
On the early morning of the alleged assault, which was Valentines Working day, she told The Sunday Occasions that she obtained a mobile phone phone from the Sheikh inviting her to supper, declaring she had never ever spoken to him on the mobile phone before then.
Nahyan also hosted Tony Blair when he attended the opening of the UAE’s worldwide instruction and techniques forum
‘After 6 months there I was used to being summoned to meetings at all occasions of working day,’ she advised the newspaper. ‘And no a person claimed no to Nahyan — he was like a god.’
From the motor vehicle which was getting her to meet up with Nahyan, Ms McNamara texted Peter Florence, the head of the Hay Pageant.
She explained how she felt like she experienced been ‘called to the headmaster’s place of work for disrupting course,’ in advance of joking that Florence should ‘send help’ if she did not return in 24 hours.
Irrespective of the joky tone, Ms McNamara explained she felt not comfortable and so turned on her Whatsapp tracker, enabling other folks to follow her area.
Her disquiet grew when, as an alternative of heading to the royal palace, she said the motor vehicle that picked her up drove in the reverse direction and commenced going absent from the metropolis, with the driver not telling her where by they were being driving to.
McNamara claimed that she was taken across a bridge to a compact island that she thinks to be the unique Al Gurm resort, where by a lot of of the Emirati royals individual attributes, and then to the Sheikh’s house.
There, she was taken inside of in which she satisfied the Sheikh, who she stated was extremely friendly to her, greeting her with a hug and generating a £3,500 look at with gold and diamonds.
They have been also ingesting wine, she claimed, which astonished her simply because it is prohibited in the nation.
The sheikh – who is a member of Abu Dhabi’s ruling household and likes to be known as the ‘Sheikh of Hearts’ – denies any wrongdoing, and stated about the weekend that he was ‘surprised and saddened’ by the claims made by McNamara. Pictured: Mr Johnson and the Sheikh in 2013
Nahyan, who was educated in the British isles and attended Oxford College, welcomed Boris Johnson to Abu Dhabi when he came to the state as element of a trade mission
Soon after trying to hold the conversation skilled, conversing about a poet – which irritated the Sheikh – McNamara then claims that he begun touching her.
‘It was creepy,’ she reported. ‘He was on the couch upcoming to me and commenced touching my arm and toes and I was pulling away, then he acquired forceful… Instantly, it clicked why I was there. I felt so naive.’
At that place, McNamara explained her condition dawned on her, and she commenced contemplating of ways she could escape from the residence and the island without the need of offending him by earning him believe she was rejecting him.
Just after she attempted to find excuses to go away, McNamara explained the Sheikh instead took her on a tour of the residence, at just one position ‘grabbing her face and kissing her’, and when inside of a gold elevator, she promises he assaulted her once more.
‘We acquired in a gold carry wherever he pushed me versus the wall and commenced rubbing my breasts in a strange way like windscreen wipers,’ she claimed.
Nahyan was also pictured with sporting activities stars Andy Murray and Rafael Nadal after final of the Capitala Planet Tennis Championship in Abu Dhabi on January 3, 2009
‘He pulled up his kandora and was naked underneath, and received on major of me. I pulled my costume down but he put his fingers up my dress and his fingers inside of me.’
Nahyan has denied the allegations.
Finally, McNamara instructed The Moments that she was equipped to get downstairs, out the door and into a car or truck away from the island, and the subsequent early morning took a two-hour taxi to Dubai.
In text exchanges with Florence right after the alleged incident, she informed him that Nahyan had kissed her and that she necessary to ‘get out of here’. Florence advised her to ‘come home promptly.’
In the days that followed, she statements that the Sheikh attempted to get in touch with her multiple periods and also texted her.
A person alleged text, which is visible in a screenshot, reads, ‘Good morning my dearest darling I all is heading as approach have a great day really do not pressure on your own on the lookout forward to see you quickly overlook you choose treatment LoL.’
On February 25, the festival opened as planned, and on March 5, she flew again to London as the coronavirus pandemic begun to collect tempo.
‘What he had finished impacted all the things,’ she claimed, telling The Sunday Times that she has due to the fact break up up with her extended-term boyfriend, lost her career and feels she could under no circumstances return to the UAE.
Nahyan with former French president Nicolas Sarkozy (still left) and previous US secretary of condition James Baker (appropriate) in 2013
For the duration of lockdown, she reached out to Philippe Sands – renowned author and human legal rights barrister – who put her in touch with Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, a top voice on women’s legal rights.
‘For a guy who is a foremost minister of his country to grossly violate a gals who is there to organise a key cultural function is prison,’ Kennedy explained to The Times.
‘The UAE really should sack him immediately but I suspect that will not materialize. His family owns the state.’
As shortly as lockdown finished, McNamara contacted to the law enforcement, supplying them a a few hour job interview at the Family Unit in Stratford, east London.
Following the interview, the police took her protection fears so significantly they equipped stress alarms in her flat.
The Sunday Instances arrived at out to the Sheikh and his reps for a reaction to the allegations but he did no specifically answer, the newspaper reported, but it did obtain a reaction from a London libel lawyers Schillings with a assertion.
‘Our shopper is surprised and saddened by this allegation, which arrives 8 months right after the alleged incident and by using a nationwide newspaper,’ it said. ‘The account is denied.’
Caroline Michel, chair of the Hay board, advised the Sunday Moments on Saturday night time that the alleged assault was ‘an appalling violation and a hideous abuse of have confidence in and placement.’