Abu Dhabi Motors has virtually apologised for the controversial TV commercial with Al Ain Football Club which brought disrespect to the UAE National Anthem.
"Following the recent concerns regarding our TV Commercial with the Al Ain Football Club, I wanted to reassure everyone that it was never our intention to cause any offence," Arno Husselmann, General Manager, Abu Dhabi Motors, said in a statement.
"We are deeply disappointed that what was intended to be a positive support from Abu Dhabi Motors in the Nation’s passion for football has resulted in such controversy," he added.
The 20-second commercial, shot at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium in Al Ain, shows the Al Ain team singing the UAE National Anthem prior to a match but stop midway through on hearing the sounds of BMW engines.
They then run out of the stadium as a bemused referee and the Al Ain fans look on. The footballers then get into the BMW cars parked outside the stadium.
"Out of respect for the feedback received, we immediately removed the commercial from all media platforms," it said.
The video provoked the anger of the Emiratis.
"We contract our advertising requirements to external suppliers who are responsible for ensuring any company message strictly adheres to the laws and culture of the country, follow protocol and in no form can be regarded as disrespectful, which clearly didn’t happen on this occasion. So with immediate effect we are ending all cooperation with our advertising and creative agency, in support of the feelings of the nation," according to the statement.