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When in Saudi, Do Not Dab

When in Saudi, Do Not Dab

A word of warning for anyone travelling to Saudi Arabia - stay well away from any DABBING! The move could see you spending some time in jail.

Abdullah al-Shahrani, a Saudi entertainer, was recently detained by Saudi authorities after dabbing during a concert in the city of Taif.

Upon his release, an immediate apology was released by al-Shahrani for the "spontaneous and unintentional move".

The "dab", which dates back to a 2014 music video by rapper Skippa da Flippa, has since become a popular move used by celebs, artists, athletes, etc from all over the world. As a result, among the younger generation, the dab has become an iconic move.

However, Saudi authorities do not recognise any aspect of the dab being related to popular culture, instead connecting it to the consumption of narcotics.

The Saudi Interior Ministry’s National Drug Control Commission considers the move to be a reference to smoking cannabis. 

In a poster published by the Commission, the move is incredibly referred to as “the inhalation of the vapours of hashish or marijuana”.

The secretary-general of the Commission, Abd al-Elah al-Sharif said in an interview with al-Arabiya “the move is a well-known move…known to represent smoking hashish which leads to addiction.”

dabbing saudi illegal

So be warned, if you dab in Saudi Arabia and get caught, you could face prison, a fine or both! 

If you're travelling to Saudi Arabia for business purposes then boost your business success and stay on the right side of the law by taking part in our online Saudi Arabia Culture Training eLearning course for business professionals.

Expertly designed for individuals who need to make a great impression and drive positive outcomes, this online cultural training course will equip you with essential skills and insights!

Alternatively, if you prefer live, tailored group training for you and your team, then contact us to discuss our live webinar training programmes. Delivered by Saudi country and culture experts, our Saudi Culture webinars will give you essential insights and help you to conduct yourselves with credibility and confidence.  


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