The U.S. Embassy in Dubai was closed to the public Wednesday due to a potential security threat, according to a statement on the consulate’s Web site.
Local authorities reportedly alerted embassy staff to the threat, which prompted them to close the building to public business.
However, no evacuation took place and a top Dubai police official later said that no direct evidence of a threat was found.
Police chief Dahi Tamim said that an anonymous telephone tip threatening action against the embassy led them to detain a Sudanese man, but no plot was uncovered.
The U.S. decision to publicize the closure on its Web site could prove controversial, because Dubai’s leadership is sensitive to any adverse publicity that could hurt its reputation as a safe and stable business and leisure destination.
There have been no terrorist attacks in the seven United Arab Emirates in a long time, but despite this fact Great Britain raised its terror warning to the highest level in June.
There has been no word yet as to when the embassy will re-open. In the meantime those seeking visas or other consular services are being asked to go to the U.S. Embassy in nearby Abu Dhabi.
By Karen Elowitt for PeterGreenberg.com.
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