Three men were forcibly removed from an annual culture festival in Saudi Arabia and subsequently sent back to the UAE after it was deemed that women could find them irresistible.
The delegates from the UAE were in attendance at the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival in Riyadh, the Saudi capital when religious police officers stormed the stand and evicted the men because “they are too handsome,” according to the Arabic language newspaper, Elaph.
“A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission members feared female visitors could fall for them,” Elaph reported.
Saudi Arabia is a deeply religious and conservative society which forbids women from interacting with unrelated males.
Following the incident, Elaph said the festival’s management took swift action to deport the trio back to Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates.
The UAE released an official statement indicating that the religious police were anxious over the unexpected presence of an unnamed female artist in the pavilion.
“Her visit to the UAE stand was a coincidence as it was not included in the programme which we had already provided to the festival’s management,” Saeed Al Kaabi, head of the UAE delegation to the festival, said in a statement.