Mother Held With Daughter in Dubai After Drinking Wine

Ellie Holman was served a glass on the plane; also has a visa issue
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 10, 2018 4:00 PM CDT
   (Getty/cyano66)

(Newser) – An English dentist who took a pleasure trip to Dubai says she was jailed for three miserable days along with her 4-year-old daughter after she drank a complimentary glass of wine on the flight. Per the Guardian, 44-year-old Ellie Holman was arrested in July following an 8-hour flight when she arrived in the UAE and was told her visa was invalid. During questioning, an official asked her about alcohol, and she was informed that possession of it is illegal—even if it's inside one's body, reports the Sun. After Holman says she began to record airport officials with her phone to document their "rude" behavior, she was placed in a cell along with her little girl, according to an NGO called Detained in Dubai that works with people held in the emirate.

Holman says she and her daughter were held for three days, and she was initially not allowed to contact her partner, with whom she has three children back in the UK. After three nights, Holman says she was released on bond and allowed to reunite with her partner at the airport. Holman says legal fees and missed work have cost her nearly $40,000 so far, and the ordeal is not over yet because authorities confiscated her passport. While her little girl was allowed to head home, Holman remains in Dubai until her legal case is settled. “Tourists cannot be blamed for believing that the Emirates are tolerant of western drinking habits, but this is far from reality," says an official with the NGO. (Read more Dubai stories.)

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