UAE warns citizens to avoid wearing traditional garments overseas following false terror report

An Emirati man was handcuffed by armed police following a false ISIS claim

Iran, diplomatic ties, Kuwait, ambassador, cleric, protests, Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Sudan, UAE

The Embassy of Kuwait in Dublin | Image: RollingNews.ie

The United Arab Emirates has warned its citizens to avoid wearing traditional garments overseas after an Emirati man was handcuffed by armed police in the US state of Ohio.

Relatives of a panicky hotel clerk in the Cleveland suburb of Avon falsely reported last week that the Arab businessman had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group.

Police bodycam footage shows Ahmed al-Menhali - who was wearing a kandura, or ankle-length robe, and headscarf - being pinned to the ground at gunpoint by officers.

The 41-year-old Muslim fainted and was taken to hospital to be treated for minor injuries.

The UAE ministry of foreign affairs said on Twitter on Saturday night that Emiratis abroad should avoid wearing such garments for their safety.

A separate ministry statement urged women to abide by bans on face veils in parts of Europe.

Cleveland's WEWS-TV posted dramatic police camera video footage of Mr Menhali's detention on Wednesday.

(arrest begins at one-minute mark)

As the businessman and father of three is handcuffed, he says calmly: "What is this? What happened? Not good this. I tourist and this not good."

Mr Menhali was searched and ordered to remove his shoes, before he collapsed.

He told the National, a UAE newspaper: "I had several injuries and bled from the forceful nature of their arrest."

Mr Menhali was in the US for medical check-ups following health complications.

Police talked to the hotel clerk at the Fairfield Inn & Suites and discovered the Emirati had not actually made any statements relating to terrorism.

The employee's sister can be heard on a 911 recording saying there is a man in the hotel lobby "in full head dress with multiple disposable phones pledging his allegiance, or something, to ISIS".

The clerk's father also called 911 and told police his daughter was "terrified".

She locked herself in the bathroom because she was so scared, police said.

WEWS-TV posted footage of Avon officials, including the police chief, meeting Mr Menhali to apologise for the "false accusations".

"I hope the person that made those can maybe learn from those," Mayor Brian Jensen said.

But the Council on American Islamic Relations accused Avon officials themselves of "bigotry".

The group said the police had mentioned Mr Menhali's attire more than once in a press release about the incident.

Mr Menhali had gone to that hotel because most of the accommodation in central Cleveland was all booked up for the forthcoming Republican National Convention.