David Ballantine

“Unfortunately, David’s case is not unusual. We are approached by dozens of cases a week where Brits are detained and experience unfair treatment. Recently Billy Barclay and Jamie Harron made the headlines, but these individual cases only reflect endemic problems with the UAE legal system. We have lobbied for the FCO to be more proactive and to increase their travel warnings for the UAE, because we continue to see an increase in the number of frivolous cases that often have devastating consequences”.
“David is part of a major class action being taken against the UK government for failing in their duty of care to British citizens who fall victim of the UAE’s deeply flawed legal system."
Radha Stirling, CEO and founder of Detained in Dubai

"David's taxi incident ultimately escalated to charges related to theft, non payment, rudeness, consumption of alcohol, assault and even overstaying his visa. It is important that tourists are aware of how quickly a small dispute can turn into a life impacting punishment. In David's case, this one night had severe consequences as he awaited lengthy legal proceedings, without government support and without the ability to work. There has been talk in the UAE about introducing tourism courts for expedited hearings and this would go a long way in ensuring that tourists are not made homeless while awaiting proceedings. There are many British nationals in this position right now. Jamie Harron was fortunate during proceedings that he had friends to stay with, but others have not been so lucky"

The UK government did nothing to help, according to David. “They visited once, and gave me a list of lawyers that I couldn’t afford. The only people who have helped following my release are Detained In Dubai, specifically their CEO, Radha Stirling."