“We are all fine,” she said. “We are just worried because, you know, nothing is guaranteed.”
But Ms. Shafik could not be reached after that, and others in contact with the family said Emirati security agents were already inside the family’s home during her interview with The Times.
A short time later, Mr. Shafik’s Egyptian lawyer, Dina Adly, issued a terse statement. “The Emirati authorities have arrested Lt. Gen. Shafik from his home in order to deport him to Egypt. We have lost contact with everyone,” Ms. Adly wrote on Facebook.
Mr. Shafik ran for president in 2012 as the candidate of Egypt’s business and military establishment, promising to restore order after the Arab Spring uprising of the previous year. He lost the election by about two percentage points to Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, whom Mr. Sisi removed in a military takeover a year later.
Mr. Shafik fled to the United Arab Emirates after losing the election. When he left, prosecutors were investigating corruption charges related to his tenure as the minister of civil aviation, in charge of Egypt’s national airline and airports, a post he held for a decade beginning in 2001.
Mr. Sisi, then the defense minister, ran in a pro forma presidential election in 2014. In a leaked recording of a telephone call, Mr. Shafik said he would not run because the vote would be “a farce.”
“I know very well they will fix all the ballot boxes,” he said. “This is going to be a comedy show.”
Mr. Sisi was declared the winner with more than 97 percent of the vote in an election that observers said fell short of international standards.