British woman Ellie Holman, 44, was arrested in Dubai after drinking a glass of wine on an Emirates flight. Picture: Supplied
British woman Ellie Holman, 44, was arrested in Dubai after drinking a glass of wine on an Emirates flight. Picture: Supplied

Mum jailed in Dubai over glass of wine

A BRITISH mum-of-three has been locked up in Dubai with her four-year-old daughter after drinking a single glass of wine on an Emirates flight from Gatwick.

Ellie Holman, 44, from Sevenoaks, Kent, was arrested by immigration officials after her eight-hour flight touched down at Dubai International Airport.

The dentist said she was thrown in a "baking hot and foul smelling" airport detention centre and her little girl Bibi was forced to go to the toilet on the cell floor, The Sun reports.

She now faces spending up to a year in the strict Arab state while she waits for her case to be settled.

 

Ellie Holman, 44, from Kent, UK, was arrested by immigration officials after she arrived in Dubai on an Emirates flight. Picture: Supplied
Ellie Holman, 44, from Kent, UK, was arrested by immigration officials after she arrived in Dubai on an Emirates flight. Picture: Supplied

Dr Holman's nightmare began on July 13 when an official informed her that her visa had expired and she would have to return to London immediately.

But the thought of getting back on the long-haul flight with her young daughter was "unthinkable" and she got in a tense standoff with the officer.

She said the officer then began to quiz her over whether she had been drinking.

"I told him I had a glass of wine on the flight. It was given to me free by Emirates Airlines staff," she told the Mail Oline.

The officer said possession of alcohol - even if consumed - was a crime in the United Arab Emirates and after Dr Holman began filming him for evidence she was swarmed by armed police.

 

Dr Holman’s daughter, Bibi. Picture: Supplied
Dr Holman’s daughter, Bibi. Picture: Supplied

 

The frightened mum and daughter were then led to an airport cell and had their phones and passports confiscated before being taken to a police station. There, Dr Holman said a guard tried to rip out her hair extensions.

Dr Holman was told to provide a blood sample for an alcohol test and the results showed 0.04 per cent of alcohol in her blood.

They were made to sleep on the floor of a canteen area used by other inmates and didn't eat for their entire detention.

Meanwhile, Dr Holma's partner Gary became frantic with worry after he failed to hear from the pair by the time they landed.

 

The British dentist is now facing a year in prison. Picture: Supplied
The British dentist is now facing a year in prison. Picture: Supplied

 

When he found out they had been detained he left their other children Suri, nine, and Noah, eight, with relatives and flew to Dubai.

Three days later she was taken back to the airport and released on bail, but so far the situation has cost her more than $52,000 in legal fees, expenses and missed work.

"My passport remains confiscated until the case is settled, which I have been told will take at least a year," Dr Holman said.

"My practice is closed. All our savings have gone."

Bibi has been allowed to fly back to the UK with her dad while Dr Holman stays with friends in Dubai awaiting the outcome of her case.


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