Saudi authorities say the move is associated with drug use, and is therefore illegal
Cai Trefor
14:19 11th August 2017

A popular Saudi Arabian singer and TV personality has been arrested for dabbing during a concert.

Abdallah Al Shahani performed the dance move on stage at a music festival in the city of Taif last weekend, with a video of the incident soon posted online.

The singer, who also works as a TV host and actor was accused of transgressing a ban on the move implemented by the Saudi Interior Ministry’s National Commission For Combatting Drugs, who say that the move is associated with marijuana use.

The Ministry has circulated a poster with saying that it is "informing people about the dangers of this [move] on the youth and society, and is warning against imitating it" Al Shahani has subsequently apologised via twitter, claiming he had only performed the move unintentionally as the energy of live performance took hold. He said: “I apologize to our respected government and to my audience for unintentionally and spontaneously making the dance move at Taif festival. Please accept my apology.”

The move drew criticism on social media from fellow Saudis, "Even though the anti-drug authority banned this move and warned people not to perform it, this contestant is promoting it at a public festival!!! Does he think he's challenging authorities with these actions?" quotes the BBC of one user.

However TV presenter Kemmoo Al Harbi defended Al Shahani. "I'm sure it was an accident, because I personally know this man and his morals, and he has apologised and shown people that he wasn't aware of the meaning of the move."

The dab is believed to have originated in the Atlanta hip hop scene, with its invention widely credited to Skippa Da Flippa. Whether there are indeed any specific connections between dabbing and drug use is unclear, although rapper Bow Wow was once ridiculed for claiming that it was connected with cannabis oil.