Princess Haya bint Hussein

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Princess Haya bint Hussein
الأميرة هيا بنت الحسين
Princess Haya.jpg
Princess Haya (right) congratulating FEI 2012 award winner Courtney King-Dye
Born (1974-05-03) 3 May 1974 (age 44)
Amman, Jordan
Spouse Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
Issue Sheikha Al Jalila
Sheikh Zayed
House Hashemite (by birth)
House of Al-Falasi (by marriage)
Father Hussein of Jordan
Mother Alia al-Hussein

Princess Haya bint Hussein (Arabic: الأميرة هيا بنت الحسين‎‎; born 3 May 1974) is the daughter of King Hussein of Jordan from his third wife, Queen Alia. Princess Haya is the junior wife of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. She is known as Her Royal Highness Princess Haya of Jordan, a title derived from her father. A graduate of Oxford University in England, she is an accomplished equestrian who competed for Jordan in international show jumping competition and is the two-term President of the International Federation for Equestrian Sports (FEI).


Princess Haya studied in the United Kingdom, where she attended Badminton School for Girls in Bristol, Bryanston School in Dorset and later St Hilda's College, Oxford University, from which she graduated with a BA honours degree in philosophy, politics, and economics (PPE).


On 10 April 2004, Princess Haya wed Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the ruler of Dubai in Amman, Jordan [1]

On 2 December 2007 in Dubai, Princess Haya gave birth to her first child, Sheikha Al Jalila bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum.[2] The baby's birth coincided with the United Arab Emirates' 36th celebration of its National Day.[3] On 7 January 2012, she gave birth to her second child, Sheikh Zayed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum. They are also known as Their Royal Highness in Jordan.


Princess Haya was the first woman to represent her native Jordan in international equestrian sport and the only woman to win a medal in the Pan-Arab Equestrian Games.[4] Princess Haya participated in the 2002 FEI World Equestrian Games in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain and the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia representing Jordan in show jumping, where she was also her country’s flag bearer.[5] Additionally she is the Individual bronze medallist of show jumping in the 1992 Pan Arab Games in Damascus, Syria.

Princess Haya was elected president of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) in 2006 for an initial four-year term[6] in the FEI's first contested presidential race. She made history a second time in 2010, when dissatisfaction with her record led to her becoming the first sitting FEI president to be challenged in a re-election bid. She succeeded, however, in refuting the criticisms and in winning a second and final four-year term receiving an overwhelming mandate of 75 percent of the vote, soundly defeating her most vocal critics.[7]

On 7 June 2008, New Approach, a three-year-old colt owned by Princess Haya, trained in Ireland by Jim Bolger and ridden by Kevin Manning, won the Derby Stakes. On 25 October 2008, her three-year-old colt, Raven's Pass, won the $5 million Breeders' Cup Classic. After being named the European champion 2-year-old in 2007 and winning the 2008 Epsom Derby, New Approach was retired at the end of the 2008 racing season.[8] In 2009, due to her contribution to the equine world, she was made the first Patron of Retraining of Racehorses.[9]

Princess Haya holds the position of President of the International Jordanian Athletes Cultural Association which was founded to provide athletes with incentives and support they require from sport clubs and national federations.

Charitable activities

Jordanian Royal Family
Coat of arms of Jordan.svg

HM The King
HM The Queen

HM Queen Noor

Princess Haya has engaged in a wide range of humanitarian activities and founded Tikyet Um Ali, the first Arab NGO dedicated to overcoming local hunger, in her native Jordan, which provides food assistance and employment opportunities to thousands of poor families. In November 2012, Tkiyet Um Ali announced a campaign to quadruple the number of its beneficiaries to reach 20,000 families living under food poverty line aiming to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals on hunger by 2015. Tkiyet Um Ali (TUA) will expand to reach all Jordanian families with insufficient income to meet basic food needs. In addition, a parallel jobs creation program to help TUA beneficiaries become more self-sufficient was announced—Dar Abu Abdullah.[10]

Princess Haya now chairs Dubai's International Humanitarian City which is the world's largest operational center for the delivery of aid both in emergencies and for long-term development. Ten UN agencies and nearly 40 non-government organizations are members of the IHC which has supported relief efforts all over the globe including to Syrian refugees affected by civil war, to East Africa during the last drought, in Pakistan during the 2009 floods, and to Afghanistan and Yemen. The IHC has also hosted UN and NGO staff evacuated during emergencies and civil unrest. Princess Haya was an ambassador for the World Food Programme 2005-2007,[11] and then appointed a UN Messenger of Peace in July 2007 by Secretary-General Ban-Ky Moon. She was a founding member of former Secretary-General Kofi Annan's Global Humanitarian Forum based in Geneva, and writes editorials and articles on hunger, nutrition and the UN Millennium Development Goals,[6][12] and serves on the boards of many non-profit organizations. In August 2012, she supported the 2012 United Nations' World Humanitarian Day in Dubai.[13] Under Her patronage, Dubai hosted the Global Meeting of the World Food Programme for 2012 and is increasingly a center for UN and regional meetings on development and humanitarian aid.

She is a member of the Honorary Board of the International Paralympic Committee.[14]

International Equestrian Federation (FEI) controversies

Before her re-election in 2010, Princess Haya faced persistent and highly public criticisms from some members of the International Equestrian Federation (FEI) Bureau for behaving dictatorially and violating the organisation's democratic principles and procedures to pursue her own agenda.[15] Some members of the FEI Bureau and the international press expressed the opinion that her behaviour reflected her background as a member of an unelected ruling family accustomed to unquestioning obedience, rather than an elected president of a democratic institution.[16] Her re-election campaign was opposed by both of her personally chosen vice presidents and a majority of the FEI Bureau members who had worked with her.[15]

In 2009, in the middle of the FEI's campaign to eliminate doping and horse abuse in equestrian sport, Princess Haya's husband and stepson were both convicted by the FEI for serious doping violations. Princess Haya ceded presidential powers to a senior colleague for the FEI disciplinary processes on the matter. She later complained that the issue would be used to "injure and damage the reputations of myself and my family."[17]


National Honours

 Jordan: Knight Special Grand Cordon of the Supreme Order of the Renaissance (30 January 2006).[18][19]

Foreign honours

 France: Officer of the Order of the Legion of Honour (6 September 2014).[20][21]

United Nations

2015 Hunger Hero Award, UN World Food Programme, Davos, Switzerland, (22January 2015)



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  2. Jordan News Agency - Petra - Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, Princess Haya name their new baby girl Aljalila
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  9. Sports Patronages
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  20. The Office of HRH Princess Haya Bint Al Hussein. "France Grants HRH Princess Haya the National Order of the Legion of Honor". Retrieved 12 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "FEI President, HRH Princess Haya Al Hussein made Officer of the National Order of the Legion of Honour, 09/2014". Pinterest. 1 October 2014. Retrieved 12 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links