Beauty vlogger slammed by fans after travelling to Dubai for Christmas

Car dealership CEO and popular beauty vlogger wife branded ‘selfish and insensitive’ for ‘covering up’ Dubai trip after ‘making 300 staff redundant’ – as she claims she ‘didn’t realise’ it was against government advice

  • Fleur De Force is an award-winning blogger with 1.38m YouTube subscribers
  • She lives in Northamptonshire with her husband Mike Bell, CEO of AvailableCar 
  • Slammed by fans after it was discovered that she flew to Dubai on Boxing Day 

A car dealership CEO and his beauty vlogger wife have been branded ‘selfish and insensitive’ for ‘covering up’ their festive trip to Dubai after their company made ‘300 staff redundant’ due to the pandemic.  

Fleur De Force, 32, is an award-winning beauty blogger with 1.38million YouTube subscribers, who lives on a Northamptonshire estate with her husband of seven-years Michael Bell, the CEO of AvailableCar, and their daughter River, three.

The family has faced fierce backlash in recent days after it was discovered by her fans that the couple flew to Dubai on Boxing Day, despite government guidance at the time saying residents in Tier 3 should ‘carefully consider whether they must travel abroad’.

Outraged followers branded Fleur ‘selfish and insensitive’ and accused her of trying to hide her family’s international holiday after she shared a snap to her Instagram account showing her in the UK, while actually in Dubai.

She also posted a video on her YouTube account, suggesting she had a quieter festive break than usual after a trip to Kent was cancelled – but failed to mention her time abroad.

After fans spotted her in Dubai and commented on her Instagram account, Fleur apologised, saying: ‘I should have realised it was morally the wrong decision, even if it wasn’t legally wrong at the time, rather than acting like a sheep and thinking because others were doing it, it was OK.’ 

Fleur De Force, 32, is an award-winning beauty blogger with 1.38million YouTube subscribers, who lives on a Northamptonshire estate with her husband of seven-years Michael Bell (pictured together), the CEO of AvailableCar, and their daughter River, three

The family has faced fierce backlash in recent days after it was discovered by Fleur’s (pictured) fans that the couple flew to Dubai on Boxing Day, escaping their tier three area despite the Government asking residents at the time to ‘carefully consider whether they must travel abroad’

Outraged followers branded Fleur ‘selfish and insensitive’ and accused her of trying to hide her family’s international holiday after she shared a snap (pictured) to her Instagram account showing her in the UK, while actually in Dubai

On the Facebook page for AvailableCar, which is a family-owned business selling used cars, several social media users pointed out that the company has made redundancies recently due to the pandemic.

One person claimed up to ‘300 staff’ were made redundant, while in July 2020, the firm – which has four venues across the Midlands and Yorkshire, warned of ‘potential redundancies’.

Speaking about her festive break on her YouTube clip What I Got For Christmas 2020 before the controversy, Fleur said a trip to Kent had been cancelled after it was placed in Tier 4.

She said: ‘I’m having a bit of a break from the internet over the next couple of weeks. Obviously, I’ve come on and filmed this. I’m going to be on Instagram a little bit but I’m just taking a bit of time off with Mike.

Reality TV stars and influencers face mounting backlash after jetting to Dubai while England is in its third lockdown 

A slew of reality TV stars and influencers are facing mounting backlash for jetting to Dubai under the guise of taking a ‘work trip’ while England is in another COVID-19 lockdown.

Stars have been accused of ‘bending the rules’ to jet abroad, after Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the nation would enter a third lockdown on January 5.

Under the latest national lockdown rules, which are now in effect, holidays are banned and international travel is only permitted for specific reasons such as for work.

Within the UK, domestic holidays are also banned as you must stay at home at all times except for a limited number of ‘reasonable excuses’ such as shopping for essentials or work.

The Government has said if you need to travel you should stay local – meaning avoiding travelling outside of your village, town or the part of a city where you live – and look to reduce the number of journeys you make overall.

‘We had actually planned to go down to the south of England and Kent, which obviously now is not happening. Kent is in tier four as is the other places we were going to go in the south of England.

‘So we’d planned to take a week off and do that which is obviously not happening anymore. So we’re still having some time off and not going to be kind of doing our usual thing. 

‘Mike’s taking the time off work, which is really exciting and just spending some time with River and so I’m not going to be posting like normal.’

She added: ‘I had a really lovely Christmas, sometimes it’s nice just to not have any expectation.

‘Normally Christmas for us is a super, super busy time. River’s birthday is just after Christmas, we normally have a Christmas party before Christmas and then the last couple of years we’ve hosted Christmas for my entire family.

‘We also go up and spend a few days with Mike’s family in Yorkshire over Christmas so we are like here, there and everywhere. We usually host a New Year’s Eve party as well. 

‘And it’s actually refreshing… to actually not have any pressure, to be organising anything or cooking so much food or whatever. So yeah I had a really love Christmas.’ 

At the time, the Government advised that people in tier three should ‘carefully consider whether they must travel abroad, and should follow the rules in their area’. 

The influencer, who currently has more than 771,000 followers on Instagram, was spotted in Dubai by an eagle-eyed fan, who then commented on her most recent post.

Her posts and videos were soon filled with queries from followers about the comment, encouraging Fleur to confess all about her trip.  

The beauty vlogger was praised last summer by her viewers as she filmed her ‘lockdown vlogs’, with her audience commending her for staying in. 

Once Fleur confirmed that she had travelled to Dubai after Christmas, fans were quickly in uproar – with many admitting that they would be unfollowing and unsubscribing to the YouTuber.

She also posted a video on her YouTube account (above), suggesting she had a quieter festive break than usual after a trip to Kent was cancelled – but failed to mention her time abroad

Speaking about her festive break on her YouTube clip What I Got For Christmas 2020 before the controversy, Fleur (pictured with her husband) said a trip to Kent had been cancelled after it was placed in tier four


Once Fleur confirmed that she had travelled to Dubai after Christmas, fans were quickly in uproar – with many admitting that they would be unfollowing and unsubscribing to the YouTuber (pictured)

One wrote: ‘I’m a long time supporter and genuinely shocked at the deception around your Dubai holiday! You said you “obviously” cancelled your UK break due to the latest covid situation… you didn’t mention jetting to Dubai instead! 

‘Then posting a picture from your garden pretending you’re at home is so shady and insulting. Own your decisions!’

A second added: ‘The fact you talked about how your trip to Kent got cancelled, and didn’t mention that you were going to Dubai shows that you knew you were doing the wrong thing.

‘Manipulation at it’s finest – you obviously needed a break from the year you’ve had, while doctors/nurses are working themselves to the bone, trying to save selfish people like yourself.’

A third said: ‘Yikes. Getting major “I’m only apologizing because I’ve been found out” vibes. Massively insensitive and disrespectful to all who have lost loved ones and more so risking their lives on the frontline. You knew better than to do this.’


After fans spotted her in Dubai and commented on her Instagram account, Fleur apologised. Pictured above, her apology in full

Fleur was keen to make amends with her fans, changing the caption on her last Instagram snap, shared on January 5, to include an apology. Pictured, the original caption


However, it wasn’t all negative reactions, with some followers defending Fleur (pictured above)

However, it wasn’t all negative reactions, with some fans defending Fleur, with one writing: ‘You have nothing to apologise for. I have travelled many times this year for work and can tell you it’s far safer and tighter restrictions in transit than in the local supermarket.’

Another said: ‘In my opinion you’ve done nothing wrong! You followed the rules and took the tests and precautions to make sure you weren’t spreading the virus. 

‘Many Brits are on holiday abroad at the moment to places allowed on the travel corridors (me included) and are just not open about it because they know how judgemental many people have became about just about anything since March.’

A third added: ‘I can’t believe how harsh everyone is being. You’re human, made a misjudgment, and owned up to it. No need to be crucified lol. No judgment here.’

Fleur was keen to make amends with her fans, changing the caption on her last Instagram snap, shared on January 5, to include an apology.

The beauty vlogger (pictured) was praised last summer by her viewers as she filmed her ‘lockdown vlogs’, with her audience commending her for staying in

She said: ‘Hey guys, I wanted to post a message on here to address questions about me being in Dubai, as my original response to comments on this post were deleted by the original commenter.

‘Yes, I’ve been out in Dubai. We booked it just before Tier 4 was announced in the South East and London, and flew out on Boxing Day, not breaking any laws. 

‘When filming my final Vlogmas video the night Tier 4 was announced, we didn’t think this trip would be going ahead, but following the government announcement on the 23rd, I believed the restrictions in our area were still Tier 2 at the time of our flight (10pm on Boxing Day) and we took the decision to still travel. 

‘I was actually mistaken in this and we were in fact Tier 3 at the time – so still legally allowed to travel, but strongly advised against doing so. (Something I have, unbelievably stupidly, only just realised as highlighted by some of you.) 

‘This was a misunderstanding on my part as I thought the rules came into effect at midnight on Boxing Day, not midnight coming into Boxing Day.’

The influencer, who currently has more than 771,000 followers on Instagram, was spotted in Dubai by an eagle-eyed fan, who then commented on her most recent post. Pictured, her stunning home

Some outraged fans questioned the family’s need for a break when living in such a beautiful home (pictured)

She added: ‘I’m not trying to make an excuse for my poor judgement here, only trying to explain my thinking at the time.’

‘At the time it seemed like quite a few people I knew and followed were travelling out there as it is on the government travel corridor list, and seemed to have a sensible testing requirement in place as well as strict rules of mask wearing, distancing etc. and low reported COVID numbers. Obviously we were all tested before travel as required.

‘Obviously the situation in the UK has very rapidly escalated since then, and in hindsight, I made a very wrong decision. 

‘I should have realised it was morally the wrong decision, even if it wasn’t legally wrong at the time, rather than acting like a sheep and thinking because others were doing it, it was ok. For that I can only apologise, learn from this and do better in the future.’

Fleur De Force, whose real name is Fleur Bell, and representatives of AvailableCar have been contacted by MailOnline for comment.

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