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ICFUAE | International Campaign For Freedom in the UAE

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British tourist and her daughter detained in Dubai

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11 months 1 week

British tourist and her daughter detained in Dubai

A British mother and her our-year-old daughter was detained for three days in Dubai for allegedly drinking a complimentary glass of wine on a flight from London.

According to Detained in Dubai rights group, the 44-year-old British dentist Ellie Holman was arrested on July 13 after having one glass of wine on her eight-hour Emirates Airline flight to Dubai from London.

She was taken into custody after an immigration official questioned her about her visa and asked if she had consumed alcohol.

The group said Ellie and Bibi were travelling to Dubai for a five-day break to visit friends, having visited a number of times before.

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.’

The CEO of Detained in Dubai, Radha Stirling, said: "Tourists cannot be blamed for believing that the Emirates are tolerant of Western drinking habits, but this is far from reality.

"It is wholly illegal for any tourist to have any level of alcohol in their blood, even if consumed in flight and provided by Dubai’s own airline. It is illegal to consume alcohol at a bar, a hotel and a restaurant and if breathalysed, that person will be jailed."

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media@icfuae.org.uk