How racing could save a young woman’s life

Matt Nicholls
April 18, 2019, Matt Nicholls Media

Somewhere in the United Arab Emirates is a 33-year-old woman who fears for her life.

Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum – or Princess Latifa, as she is best known – is being held against her will by her father, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum.

The same man is the Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates and Ruler of the Emirate of Dubai.

He is also the head of the powerful Godolphin racing stable, a worldwide operation which has achieved some of its best success in Australia.

Last year, Princess Latifa, with the help of a Finnish friend and a former French spy, hatched an elaborate escape plan that involved fleeing the country by car and then by jet ski.

They crossed the border from the UAE to Oman and then boarded jet skis bound for India.

However, they were intercepted on the water by Indian authorities and taken back to Dubai by UAE’s security services.

Before being captured, Princess Latifa recorded a 39-minute video outlining her reasons for wanting to escape, detailing maltreatment of her and one of her sisters, as well as other serious allegations involving her father.

That was in March 2018. Latifa wasn’t seen publicly again until Christmas Day when the Dubai royal court released heavily staged photos of the Princess alongside Mary Robinson, former United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and former President of Ireland.

This only happened after the UN threatened to expose Sheikh Mohammed and his treatment of Princess Latifa.