Saudi Arabia: Singer arrested for dabbing

27 September 2017
Authorities arrested singer Abdallah Al Shahani for dabbing, a dance move that violates the regulations of the National Committee for Combating Drugs.
Photo: Saudi Arabian National Anti-Narcotics Committee tweeted 6 August statement


Security authorities arrested Saudi Arabian singer Abdallah Al Shahani for violating the regulations of the National Committee for Combating Drugs (Nebras) by performing the dab dance move at a festival in the south western city of Taif, Nebras said in an 8 August 2017 Twitter statement.

The move, also called dabbing, is banned in Saudi Arabia as the National Anti-Narcotics Committee deems it a reference to drug use and narcotics culture. Dabbing is a move that involves a person dropping their head into the crook of their arm, while often raising the opposite arm in parallel, but out straight.

On 10 August 2017, security forces in Taif released the singer after apologizing for the action, reported Ajel News. The singer apologised via a Twitter statement published on Twitter on 5 August, saying: “I apologise to our respected government and to my audience for unintentionally and spontaneously making the dance move at Taif festival. Please accept my apology”.

The Saudi Arabian National Anti-Narcotics Committee, the body that banned the dance, published two statements on its Twitter page on 6 August related to the incident. The first statement warned of the tradition of the dab movement as an “incitement to drug use”; the second statement followed up the warning by saying that “legal procedures will be taken against those who will apply any movements that incite drug use”.

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