A mum has said she was locked up in jail for three days with her young daughter after she ordered a glass of wine on a flight to Dubai.
Ellie Holman, 44, was travelling to the city with her four-year-old little girl, Bibi. However after they landed, the mum was arrested after being questioned about consuming alcohol on the eight-hour Emirates flight from London.
The dentist from Sevenoaks in Kent said she was then held in a ‘foul smelling’ detention centre at the airport with her daughter. They were banned from contacting family, including Mrs Holman’s husband.
The mother-of-three may now have to spend up to a year in the Arab state waiting for the case to be sorted. Speaking to MailOnline, she said: ‘My little girl had to go to the toilet on the cell floor. I have never heard her cry in the same way as she did in that cell. ‘My passport remains confiscated until the case is settled, which I have been told will take at least a year. ‘So far this situation has cost me around £30,000 in legal fees, expenses and missed work. My practice is closed. All our savings have gone.’
According to the mum, the incident began after she stepped off the plane to be told her visa was not valid – as it was for a single trip only. Mrs Holman claimed that she had used the visa on multiple other visits to Dubai, so presumed it was still valid.
She was then told to buy a return ticket to London for the same day. Despite ‘pleading’ with the officer to allow her to apply for a new visa at the airport as her daughter was exhausted, she said he was ‘dismissive and rude’ and would not allow it. She was then asked if she had been drinking, to which she said she had been given a glass of red wine with her meal on the flight. The immigration officer informed her that possession of alcohol, even if consumed, was a crime. She was later arrested and led to a cell after filming the official on her phone so she would have proof of his ‘rude behavior’.