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UAE advises citizens not to wear traditional dress abroad

Mistaken for a terrorist, an Emirati tourist wearing traditional dress was arrested in Ohio

Policy Pulse
Publish Date: Jul 4 2016 1:51PM | Updated Date: Jul 4 2016 1:51PM

UAE advises citizens not to wear traditional dress abroad
Suffering a huge ordeal during a visit to the states, an Emirati tourist was arrested in Ohio after a hotel clerk reported him as suspicious. 
 
After the businessman was detained on suspicion of being an ISIS suspect, the United Arab Emirates has asked its citizens to avoid wearing their national dress when travelling abroad to ensure their safety  and said that women should abide by bans on face veils in European countries, according to news reports from Dubai. 
 
In the Cleveland suburb, a suspicious hotel clerk alerted relatives, who called 911, in the hotel where the tourist, Ahmed al-Menhali, tried to book a room. Menhali, a 41-year-old businessman, was in the United States for medical treatment and was wearing a flowing white headscarf and a full-length white robe at the time. 
 
Police handcuffed him outside the hotel entrance while he kept insisting that he was a tourist and not a terrorist, the officials armed with rifles still took him down. He later told the broadcaster Al Jazeera that the clerk said that Menhali was "pledging my allegiance to ISIS," referring to the Islamic State.
 
After being thoroughly searched for 10 minutes, he collapsed after they undid the handcuffs to release him and was taken by ambulance to St John Medical Centre. 
 
Although the police declared the incident as “very regrettable”, the foreign ministry of UAE expressed "discontent" to US embassy deputy chief of mission Ethan Goldrich and demanded clarifications over the detention of an Emirati businessman suspected of being a jihadist.