Three Emiratis have been forcibly removed from an annual culture festival in Saudi Arabia and sent back to the UAE after it was suggested that women might find them irresistible.
The delegates from the UAE were at the Jenadrivah Heritage and 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 [for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vices] members feared female visitors could fall for them," Elaph reported.
The UAE released an official statement indicating that the religious police were anxious about 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.
It was not clear if the woman's presence was related to the decision to evict the "handsome" Emirati men.
Elaph said the festival's management took swift action to deport the trio back to Abu Dhabi, capital of the Emirates.
Saudi Arabia is a deeply religious and ultra-conservative society that forbids women from interacting with unrelated males and refuses to accord them the same rights as men.
It is the only country in the world where women are banned from driving.