Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al-Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance, has been accused of sexually assaulting a British woman in the run up to the launch of the 2020 Hay Literary Festival.
Caitlin McNamara stated that she was attacked by Al-Nahyan on 14 February, 2020 at a remote private island villa where she thought she would be discussing preparations for the inaugural Hay Festival Abu Dhabi.
She claimed that Al-Nahyan began “touching” her while the two were in a room at the private island.
“It was creepy,” explained McNamara.
“He was on the sofa next to me and began touching my arm and feet and I was pulling away, then he got forceful… Suddenly, it clicked why I was there. I felt so naïve,”she added.
“I was alone on this island in a concrete building with this powerful man in a country where every day you heard stories about people disappeared in the desert.
“Every woman in the world knows that feeling — I need to get out without offending. Having worked in the region for 10 years I know that these aren’t people you p**s off. It wasn’t like being in London, where I’d just tell him to get lost,” she said
The 32 year old chose to waive her anonymity and has been interviewed by Metropolitan Police officers in London.
The festival official is waiting to hear whether Britain’s Crown Prosecution Service will take up her case.
Her “frenzied” ordeal lasted until 12:30 in the morning when McNamara managed to escape.
Al-Nahyan has however denied all allegations made against him.
In a statement on Twitter, Hay Festival Chair Caroline Michel, said, “What happened to our colleague and friend Caitlin McNamara in Abu Dhabi last February was an appalling violation and a hideous abuse of trust and position.”
The festival said it will sever ties with the Gulf state.