Sheikha Shamsa was 19 when she took a car and fled, but just weeks later she was found and sent back to Dubai — never to be seen again.
In July 2000, Anastasia’s I’m Outta Love was the number one song on the radio, Sydney was about to host the Olympics and Angelina Jolie had just married Billy Bob Thornton.
And in a spectacular country estate in Britain, a princess was about to make a desperate bid to run away.
That month was the last time Sheikha Shamsa Al-Maktoum, daughter of billionaire Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed al-Maktoum, has been seen in public after she escaped the family’s $134 million UK country compound.
What followed next involved abandoned Range Rovers, secret flights and “zombie” drugs.
For nearly two decades, Sheikha Shamsa’s fate has been a tightly-held secret and the world has largely forgotten her since her escape briefly made headlines in 2000.
However, she is far from the only member of her family to have made a dramatic attempt to flee their billionaire patriarch and life in Dubai.
In 2018, her half-sister Sheikha Latifa made her second attempt to flee Dubai. Then this week it was revealed the girls’ stepmother