UAE tells citizens to leave robes at home after businessman held in US

04 Jul, 2016 10:34 am

ABU DHABI (92 News) – The United Arab Emirates has urged men to avoid wearing the white robes, headscarf and headband of the national dress when travelling abroad, after a businessman visiting the United States was wrestled to the ground and held as an Islamic State suspect.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has urged citizens not to dress in the kandura or abaya when abroad.

Emiratis said their decision on how to dress would depend on where they went, and that common sense was the best judge. “It all depends where you are going and how you think the people in that country will perceive you,” said Omar Sharif, 34, who works for Dubai Electricity and Water Authority.

“In the US, not in a million years would I ever wear the kandura right now because I really think people are getting the wrong impression of Arabs.

“In the Arab world I would do it and even in Europe. I wore it last year on a trip to France and I got mixed reactions. Some people gave me dirty looks but others were very interested and kind.”

The advice came after an incident involving an Emirati businessman in the United States at the weekend. According to media reports, the man was in the state for medical treatment when a receptionist mistakenly believed he may be a terrorist.

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