British Grandfather Faces Jail in Dubai After Requesting Noisy Neighbors to Quiet Down

Polite plea for peace has escalated into a potential jail sentence, leaving Mr MacKeller separated from his family and indefinitely stranded in the UAE

Ian MacKeller, 75, Trapped in UAE Amidst Trespass Accusation Stemming from New Year’s Eve Incident

A 75-year-old British grandfather, Ian MacKeller, finds himself entangled in legal troubles in Dubai after requesting his neighbours to lower the volume during a New Year’s Eve celebration. 


What began as a polite plea for peace has escalated into a potential jail sentence, leaving Mr MacKeller separated from his family and indefinitely stranded in the UAE.

The Incident:

Ian McKellar, hailing from Aberdeenshire, Scotland, travelled to Dubai to visit his daughter and babysit his granddaughter during the festive period. 

Trouble arose when his daughter’s neighbours threw a lively New Year’s Eve party, prompting the family to request a reduction in noise. 

However, the situation took an unexpected turn when, after a series of unsuccessful attempts to communicate with the neighbours, Mr MacKeller found himself accused of trespass.

In an attempt to address the noise issue, Mr MacKeller, carrying his infant granddaughter, approached the neighbour’s residence.


Allegedly met with aggression and hostility, he claims the situation escalated as partygoers physically confronted him, even causing harm to his granddaughter in the process. 

Shockingly, the host of the party is said to have filed a police complaint against Mr MacKeller for trespass, hindering his plans to return to Scotland.

Legal Complexities:

The case highlights the complexities of the Dubai legal system, where filing a preemptive police report is described as “standard practice” by Radha Stirling, CEO of Detained in Dubai. 

Stirling asserts that this practice can be manipulated to exploit the legal system, with the prosecution often favouring the party who files the first report. 

She further emphasizes that foreigners caught in such situations are sometimes compelled to offer financial compensation to their accusers to resolve the matter.

As Mr MacKeller faces the prospect of imprisonment in a foreign country renowned for its strict legal system, Stirling calls for authorities in Dubai to address what she refers to as a “blatant abuse” of the criminal justice system. 

She argues that legislative changes are essential to eliminate this systemic issue and urges parliamentary representatives to advocate for their constituents facing injustice abroad.

International Involvement:

Detained in Dubai, an organization assisting individuals facing legal issues in the UAE, is collaborating with Andrew Bowie, MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine, to secure Mr MacKeller’s release. 

Radha Stirling emphasizes the urgency of addressing this situation, stating, “If the case isn’t dropped, Ian will likely end up in prisons notorious for human rights violations, and he simply doesn’t deserve it.”

Stirling’s call for parliamentary representatives to demand action from foreign ministries, including the FCDO, reflects a growing concern over the treatment of foreigners in countries like the UAE, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. 

The case serves as a stark reminder that what might begin as a routine trip can take an unexpected turn, underscoring the need for travellers to be aware of the legal intricacies of the destinations they visit.


Ian MacKeller’s predicament highlights the potential risks faced by foreigners in jurisdictions with vastly different legal systems.

As diplomatic efforts are underway to secure his release, the case raises broader questions about the need for legislative reforms to prevent the abuse of legal processes in popular tourist destinations. 

For now, Mr. MacKeller remains stranded, separated from his family, awaiting a resolution that will determine whether his plea for peace on that fateful New Year’s Eve will lead to freedom or incarceration in a foreign land.


This article was created using automation technology and was thoroughly edited and fact-checked by one of our editorial staff members

Tariq Saeed


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