"The adult daughter of Dubai’s ruler tried to escape a life of stultifying restrictions. She was captured at sea, forcibly taken back, and has not been heard from since. For all its megamalls, haute cuisine and dizzying skyscrapers, Dubai can flip at speed from international playground to repressive police state."
Both of these particular case studies are incredibly interesting but I want to talk about how this is connected to a larger cultural and political issue: that of female mobility in Persian Gulf countries. The ability to move freely without familial supervision or approval is something that adults in most countries take for granted, but that is not the case in some countries in the Middle East. How we experience place is dependent of our mobility—this is why there is no one singular geography or story of any given place, but there are many geographies that help to explain a place. The story of the ‘vanished princess’ of Dubai and the woman seeking a divorce but trapped by her family cast a different light on the glamorous and glitzy reputation of the United Arab Emirates.