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Emirati citizens are being urged not to wear national dress outside the United Arab Emirates (UAE) region, days after businessman Ahmed al-Menhali was detained in the US.

Ahmed al-Menhali was detained while wearing traditional robes in a hotel in Avon, Ohio.

According to local media, a hotel employee feared he was pledging allegiance to ISIS.

The UAE’s ministry of interior issued advice on July 2 urging citizens to be careful about what they wear abroad.

UAE nationals should avoid wearing traditional costume “to preserve their safety”, the ministry said without referencing the Ohio incident.

Ohio broadcaster WEWS reported that police received a call from the sister of a hotel clerk who had said there was a man “in full headdress with multiple disposable phones pledging his allegiance to ISIS”.UAE national dress

Police later received a call from the employee’s father alleging the same thing.

A video of Ahmed al-Menhali’s arrest, filmed by police, was published by WEWS on July 1.

The footage shows armed police approaching him outside a hotel and forcing him to lie on the floor, before searching him.

Ahmed al-Menhali, who is wearing white robes, the ghutra headdress and the agal – cords to hold the headdress in place – is heard repeatedly asking why police had stopped him.

“They were brutal with me,” he told the UAE newspaper The National.

“They pressed forcefully on my back. I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest.”

Avon’s mayor and police chief have since apologized to Ahmed al-Menhali, who was recovering in Ohio after treatment following a stroke.

After meeting him, Muslim community leaders invited the officials to break fast with them as part of the holy month of Ramadan.

The UAE ministry of interior warning was distributed on July 2. A day later, the ministry also issued travel advice to Emirati citizens, urging them to respect bans of the full-face veil where they are in place.

The note also urges people “to take caution while abroad due to the security developments in some European countries, triggered by the unfolding unrest in the Middle East region, and their fallout, especially the refugee crisis”.


The Duchess of Cambridge wore what she had assumed was a traditional national dress to an event celebrating Solomon Islands’ culture…only to later discover that the dress was actually from the Cook Islands, some 3,000 miles away.

Kate and William were meant to have dressed as Solomon Islanders to the party in the capital of Honiara on 16 September, part of their Diamond Jubilee tour of the Far East and South Pacific.

The sartorial agreement between the government of the Solomons and Clarence House was that the Duke and Duchess would attend the event wearing, respectively, a traditional handmade shirt and traditional dress.

But the gaffe occurred thanks to a woman named Kethie Sunders, an over-enthusiastic member of the Solomon Islands’ welcoming committee, who laid out the wrong clothes in the young royals’ suite.

Kate wore a Cook Islands traditional dress to an event celebrating Solomon Islands' culture

Kate wore a Cook Islands traditional dress to an event celebrating Solomon Islands’ culture

Kethie Sunders nipped in to the bedroom before the Duke and Duchess arrived, excitedly adding some more gifts of clothing to the ones already laid out inside.

But when the royals arrived, their entourage noticed that the clothes in the suite – a bright blue patterened shirt for William and an elaborate strapless fuchsia dress for Kate – did not match the descriptions of the ones that had been agreed on.

A spokesman for Clarence House said: “We saw they weren’t the same design of the traditional clothes we were told would be gifted.

“So we checked with the Solomon Islands government to ensure the right ones were worn.

“We were reassured the clothes were correct, and so the Duke and Duchess wore them to the event.

“It was not learned until later in the evening that the clothes weren’t from the islands.

“But it was understood that the Duke and Duchess intended to wear traditional Solomon Island clothes and this was appreciated. No offence was caused.”

An official from Government House of the Solomon Islands said: “We are incredibly frustrated that this situation has come about and see Kethie as entirely to blame.

“It was completely inappropriate for her to go to Their Royal Highnesses’ room, which she filled with various things, causing confusion.”

Kate did not manage to wear the actual Solomon Islands dress during the tour, since her outfits had already been planned out for the whole trip, but she did return to England with both dresses.

Her spokesman said: “She still has both dresses, they were a gift, and she also has lovely memories of her wonderful time in the Solomon Islands.”