UAE prince Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad al-Sharqi seeks asylum in Qatar

UAE prince Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad al-Sharqi seeks asylum in Qatar

Doha (Agencies): A prince from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has sought asylum in Qatar after fleeing his country saying he feared for his life because of a dispute with the rulers of oil-rich Abu Dhabi.

According to international media reports, Sheikh Rashid bin Hamad al-Sharqi, 31 arrived in Doha on May 16. He is the second son of the Emir of Fujairah, one of the seven monarchies making up the United Arab Emirates.

Abu Dhabi is the capital and the richest emirate of the UAE.

Speaking to an America newspaper, Sheikh Rashid accused Emirati rulers of blackmail and money laundering but did not offer evidence to back up his claims.

He also spoke of tensions within Emirati elites over the UAE's commitment of troops in the war in Yemen.

Sheikh Rashid said there had been more UAE war deaths than the 100 that have been reported publicly and said "there have been more deaths from Fujairah than anywhere else".

An Emirati official contacted by an international news agency declined to comment, but UAE minister for foreign affairs Anwar Gargash made a veiled reference on Twitter to "conspiracy against this or that ruling family by those who lack courage and instead resort to leaks and interviews".

Along with Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates cut all ties with Qatar in June 2017, accusing Doha of supporting Islamist groups and being too close to Gulf archrival Iran.

Qatar, the world's largest exporter of liquified natural gas, denies the accusations.

The report said that Sheikh Rashid appeared to be the first time in the UAE's nearly 47-year history that a member of one of its seven royal families had publicly criticised its rulers.