British dentist who was jailed in Dubai for ‘drinking wine’ on plane in emotional family reunion in
Culled from Daily Mail
A British mother jailed in Dubai for drinking on the plane out was met by her delighted family as she landed back in the UK, Daily Mail reported.
The 44 year old, who was jailed for drinking a glass of wine on a flight to the popular tourist destination, was met by her partner Gary at Gatwick Airport.
Speaking exclusively to MailOnline, Dr Holman said: 'I'm just so relieved to be home and can't wait to be with my family, recover and rest.
'It feels amazing to be free and back in a safe country. I'm just looking forward to being with my family. I want to hold all of them together and never let them go.'
Dr Holman, a dentist, was driven back to her home in Sevenoaks, Kent for a private family reunion after the eight hour flight.
Her two eldest children, Suri, nine and Noah, eight, had been staying with her in Dubai when she received a phone call telling her she was free and accompanied her on the long flight.
Dr Holman hugged and kissed her partner Gary as she emerged into the arrivals hall.Her four-year-old daughter Bibi, who was jailed with her in Dubai for three days, ran into her arms.
The mother-of-three stood in middle of arrivals hall clutching Bibi to her as others arriving of international flights stepped round her.
Dr Holman said: 'It’s so nice to be home and see all my family. I’m tired, but so elated.’
As they left the terminal, Dr Holman was close to tears but smiled when Gary told her: 'You’ve got a great tan.'
Earlier she had told MailOnline she had been left 'exhausted' by ordeal.
As she prepared to fly home for an emotional reunion with her family, she said she couldn't wait to be back in the UK.
'I haven't even begun to comprehend what's happened to me', she said.
'I've been running on adrenaline alone for the past month and I'm exhausted.'
The Kent-based dentist was told she could leave after a personal intervention by the country's ruler Sheikh Mohammed.
Hours before she left, Dubai Government officials offered a different version of events and denied the alcohol had played any part in the arrest.
They also said she was held for less than 24 hours, but offered no explanation as to why she was given a blood test and shown her alcohol reading.
Dr Holman said she will address the statement issued by the Dubai authorities at a later time.
The Dubai statement is in direct conflict with what Dr Holman claims took place.
She said her ordeal began on July 13 after she flew to Dubai for a five-day break with her daughter Bibi.
She was involved in a dispute with an immigration official who told her to return to the UK as her visa was not valid.
In a tense standoff Dr Holman started to film the official who then demanded to know if she had drunk any alcohol on the flight.
When she told him she had red wine with her in-flight meal he said alcohol was illegal in the Muslim country and had her arrested.
Dr Holman's release came after the personal intervention of Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed (pictured)
She and her daughter spent several hours in a holding cell before being taken to a detention centre at the airport where they spent three days.
After her release Dr Holman went to stay with friends but was unable to leave Dubai as her passport was confiscated.
She had been warned it could be up to a year before her case was heard.
Her release came after the personal intervention of Dubai's ruler Sheikh Mohammed, according to sources in the UAE.
He is said to have ordered her release after MailOnline's coverage of her ordeal and treatment was covered by media worldwide.
Dubai, which attracts over 14million visitors each year, is heavily dependent on tourism.
The publicity about Dr Holman's arrest for drinking a glass of wine could have had a deterrent effect on future travellers.
She told Mail Online how the dispute over her visa quickly escalated with a 'rude and aggressive' immigration officer.
As her single-entry visa had expired he demanded she fly back to London immediately.
When Dr Holman refused as she and her daughter were tired from the long flight there followed a tense standoff.
It was then the immigration officer asked if she had been drinking and she admitted to having a glass of wine with her meal during the eight-hour flight.
Despite her protestations, she was marched off to a holding cell where her daughter was forced to urinate on the floor as guards would not let her use a toilet.
After being held for several hours Dr Holman provided a blood sample to Dubai authorities which came back with a reading of 0.04% - well under the UK drink drive limit.
With no legal representation and not allowed to speak with her family she and Bibi were taken to an airport detention centre where they spent three days.
They were held in a 'baking hot and foul smelling' room and she was forced to clean toilets and mop the floor.
With her traumatised daughter too terrified to leave her side she was forced to sleep in a canteen area where the lights were kept on 24 hours a day.
During their detention the pair did not eat and Dr Holman said she was unable to sleep during her enforced stay.
'The food smelled like rotting garbage and neither Bibi or I could face trying it. I stayed awake for the whole three days,' she said.
She claims they were also denied a pillow or a change of clothing and that Bibi was in a state of shock and refused to be comforted.
After her release Dr Holman was allowed to stay with friends but her passport was confiscated, and she was told it might take up to a year until the matter is resolved.
Her partner Gary flew from their home in Kent to Dubai to collect their youngest daughter.
The couple estimate they have lost over £30,000 in earnings and money spent on legal fees.
Since her arrest Dr Holman's practice in Sevenoaks has been closed.
She praised the NGO Detained in Dubai for their help in securing her freedom.
'I can't thank Radha Stirling and her team at Detained in Dubai enough. Thanks to her I will be sleeping in my own bed.'
Dubai Government officials released a statement on Saturday night saying all charges against Dr Holman had been dropped and she was being deported.
Dubai's Attorney-General said the incident started when Ms Holman tried to enter the city with a Swedish passport, which had expired on June 10.
She then presented an Iranian passport, but was told she could only enter the United Arab Emirates with a new temporary visa that would allow her to stay for 96 hours which meant she would have to change her flights.
'Ms Holman refused angrily due to the additional payment fees the process would require, and proceeded to verbally insult the immigration and take photos of the officer via her phone,' said Attorney-General Esam Issa Al Humaidan in a statement.
'A legal claim was issued against Ms Holman with charges of profanity and photographing a government official at the border crossing, a restricted area.'
He said a decision was taken to drop the charges and deport the mother-of-three.
My view: Glad to see her back home with her kids and well done Dubai authorities for releasing her, as public relations is very important, especially in a country that prides itself on its tourist attractions. So why even supply alcohol on a plane going to a destination were its illegal.?