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UAE tells citizens to avoid traditional Arab robes while abroad

The United Arab Emirates has urged men to avoid wearing the white robes, headscarf and headband of the national dress for their own safety when travelling abroad.

UAE’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs posted the message to Twitter on Saturday after an Emirati businessman visiting the United States was mistakenly held as an Islamic State (IS) suspect by police at a local hotel in Ohio.

The 41-year-old man was released once the mistake was realised but had to be hospitalised after he fainted at the scene.

According to The National, Ahmed Al Menhali, who had been in the country since April, was trying to check into Fairfield Inn and Suites in Avon, Ohio, on Wednesday when he was mistaken for a member of IS.

He was wearing a dishdasha, the traditional dress in the UAE for men, at the time.

The UAE media reported that Avon Police Department said they were alerted to ‘a suspicious man with disposable phones, two of them, in a full head dress’.


According to the report, the 911 call came from the family of a woman working at the hotel and a second call requested police assistance.

In footage that later emerged from the arrest, Mr Al Menhali was asked to lie on the ground and drop his phone by police pointing weapons at him


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