A young Saudi singer was arrested in Taif, Saudi Arabia on Tuesday after he dabbed during a musical contest he was participating in over the weekend, Okaz newspaper reported.
In a now viral video, TV host, actor, and aspiring artist, Abdallah Al Shaharani, is seen pulling off the dance move, which is officially prohibited by the country's anti-drug authority as many consider it a reference to weed and other narcotics.
The dab - a simple dance in which a person drops their head into the bent crook of a slanted arm, while raising the opposite arm in a parallel direction but out straight - was first seen in Atlanta rapper Skippa da Flippa's 2014 video 'How Fast Can You Count It,' and later went on to become an internet craze.
It is usually performed by artists, celebrities, and even athletes in countries around the world.
The controversial video that has now gone viral
Al Shaharani apologized to his country's people and government before his arrest
"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..."
But his performance is still stirring up controversy on social media
Even after Al Shaharani apologized, his actions at the Taif festival continued to stir up debate online.
In the past few days, thousands have taken to the hashtag 'a contestant at Taif's Bidaya festival promotes the dab dance,' to share their thoughts on the controversial matter.
Many are outraged by Al Shaharani's move
"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?"
"This move has an obvious negative influence on people, no matter what his explanation is, it's unacceptable"
Others defended the young artist
"This was just a spontaneous move, he has since apologized to the country's people and government and you're still holding it against him?"
"It's clear that he didn't even know what the move means"
A few noted that Shaharani isn't the only artist who has dabbed in public
"Why is everyone attacking this specific artist when no one ever mentions others who made the same move?"
People noted that Rabeh Sager, a widely known Saudi singer, often dabs during his performances.
Even though Okaz newspaper didn't mention his name in their report, they hinted at the fact that a famous Saudi artist is also being questioned by authorities for dabbing during his performances.
Many believe that the unidentified artist is Sager.