Omar Borkan Al Gala, the 25-year-old Dubai model and actor, has revealed to the magazine Quién that reports that he had been deported from Saudi Arabia along with two other men for being "too handsome" were in fact false.  "Really, I was just walking around and I ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time," Al Gala told the magazine.  He added that he became aware of the press attention the incident was receiving in various countries when he had already returned to Vancouver, where he currently lives.

In April, Al Gala made headlines when it was reported that he and the other two men, whose names were unknown, were attending the Jenadrivah Heritage & Culture Festival in the Saudi capital of Riyadh when religious police entered the pavilion where the three were sitting, forcibly removed them, and deported them from the country.  The police allegedly claimed that the three posed too much of a temptation for women at the festival to resist.

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Harvard University's Islawmix.com, a project of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society devoted to adding "academic context and nuance to the increasing number of stories about Islam and Muslims in the news", criticized English-language press for not fact-checking the story and quoted the UK's Al-Arab, which wrote that in fact, no one had been deported from the country over the scuffle.  In fact, a female member of the Mutawa - Saudi religious police - had objected to the presence of Emirati singer Aryam at the festival and tried to force her way into the United Arab Emirates' pavilion, but was escorted out by guards there.

But as Islawmix reports, citing Arabic-language source Al-Quds.com, Al Gala had indeed caused discomfort for "dancing inappropriately" in a family section of the event.  Several complaints were made against him, after which he was taken aside by members of the UAE national guard, questioned and released.  He was never asked to leave. 

Al Gala's online popularity swelled after the news spread, with millions of fans subscribing to his Facebook fan page and a storm of commenters telling him that he should come to their country, assuring him he wouldn't be deported.

Islawmix notes that Western media's taste for ridiculous stories from the Arab world often leads them down the road to outright inaccuracy and lists several occasions when reports on similarly absurd stories turned out to be false.  In August 2012, for example, it was reported that an all-female city dubbed a "queendom" would be built in Saudi Arabia to promote women's workforce participation, but it turned out that the city was actually for both sexes, with separate facilities designed to encourage women to work within the city.