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Woman arrested in Dubai for drinking wine on Emirates flight has been set free

A British woman, mum-of-three arrested and locked up in Dubai with her four-year-old daughter for drinking a single glass of wine on an Emirates flight from Gatwick has been released and told she’s free to go home.

Ellie Holman, 44, from Sevenoaks, Kent, was arrested by immigration officials after her eight-hour flight touched down at Dubai International Airport.Woman arrested in Dubai for drinking wine on Emirates flight lailasnews zz


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.

She was facing spending up to a year in the strict Arab state jail when Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed personally intervened.

The dentist was told in a telephone call today that she can leave Dubai at any time and will no longer face any charges. The Dubai Government have also said they will pay for the flights home and even issued her an apology over her detention.

The 44-year-old was with her two eldest children who had flown out to Dubai for a visit when she received the news and said she was ‘ecstatic.’

Woman arrested in Dubai for drinking wine on Emirates flight lailasnews

Woman arrested in Dubai for drinking wine on Emirates flight lailasnews 2

She told MailOnline:

‘I can’t believe this is over. When I got the call from the government telling me they were dropping the case I was in shock.

‘I was told to prepare for a long stay in Dubai and a prison sentence. The man on the phone apologised on behalf of the immigration official who put me and Bibi through all of this. I feel like a weight is off my chest. ‘

The mother-of-three from Sevenoaks, Kent, is hoping to be home on the first available flight accompanied by her visiting children Suri, nine and Noah, eight.

‘I can’t wait to be safely on my flight with Noah and Suri, and to put all this behind us,’ she said.

Dr Holman’s release came after the personal intervention of Dubai’s ruler Sheikh Mohammed, according to sources in the UAE.

Woman arrested in Dubai for drinking wine on Emirates flight lailasnews s
DUBAI/UAE, 07NOV08 – H.H. Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE, at the Summit on the Global Agenda, 07 November – 09 November 2008. .Copyright World Economic Forum (www.weforum.org)/Photo by Norbert Schiller

He is said to have ordered her release after MailOnline’s coverage of her ordeal and treatment got covered by media worldwide.

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