BMW races into trouble with UAE national anthem ad

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The BMW distributor in the capital of the United Arab Emirates has pulled a television commercial featuring the country’s national anthem off the air after it sparked outrage from some citizens.

Abu Dhabi Motors general manger Arno Husselmann said in a letter Thursday that the ad wasn’t meant to cause offence and that he’s disappointed over the controversy it caused.

State-owned newspaper The National reported that the ad showed players from the Al Ain soccer team rushing out of the stadium and into BMWs midway through the national anthem after hearing engines revving outside.

Some Emiratis found the ad disrespectful. The vice chairman of the Abu Dhabi Executive Council, Shaikh Hazza bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has dissolved the team’s and a related investment company’s board of directors in response.