The men, delegates from the United Arab Emirates, were minding their own business at theJenadrivah Heritage & Cultural Festival in Riyadh when members of the mutaween suddenly “stormed” the pavilion and removed the men by force.
“A festival official said the three Emiratis were taken out on the grounds they are too handsome and that the Commission [for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices] members feared female visitors could fall for them,” the Arabic-language newspaper Elaph reported this week.
The Emirati delegates were subsequently deported back to their home country.
According to an official statement released by the UAE delegation following the incident, it seems the religious police were unnerved by the presence of an unnamed female artist from the UAE.
“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,” said UAE delegation head Saeed Al Kaabi in his apology to festival officials.