German man with tattoos, 100+ facial piercings denied entry to Dubai

German man with tattoos, 100+ facial piercings denied entry to Dubai

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German man with tattoos, 100+ facial piercings denied entry to Dubai

In this Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010 file photo, German Rolf Buchholz shows his face with 168 piercings as he visits the 20th Tattoo Convention in Berlin. A Dubai nightclub that hoped to feature Buchholz, who holds the world record for having the most piercings, said in an emailed statement Sunday, Aug. 17, 2014, that he was refused entry to the Gulf city because of security concerns. The German man now has 453 piercings, including many in his face and genitals, according to Guinness World Records. Associated Press

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — A heavily tattooed German man whose face is embellished with horn implants and more than 100 piercings said Sunday he was refused entry to Dubai without reason, forcing him to skip a planned appearance at a nightclub.

His look may have been a step too far for the Gulf’s most liberal city, where a carefully cultivated reputation for tolerance and cutting-edge cosmopolitanism occasionally clashes with the region’s conservative Islamic values.

Rolf Buchholz, 55, was traveling to the Middle Eastern commercial hub for the first time last week to appear at a circus-themed venue that woos partygoers with over-the-top attractions such as sword swallowers and burlesque dancers.

He told The Associated Press that immigration agents initially stamped his passport and let him through, but that he was stopped again before he was able to exit customs. He soon found himself in a room with other deportees.

The club said in an emailed statement that airport authorities cited "security reasons" in denying him entry. Buchholz said airport workers told him officials were concerned he could be a practitioner of black magic, though authorities did not say so directly.

"I got never an official answer," he said. "They are friendly but nobody answers your questions."

In addition to his body art and faux horns, Buchholz has a record 453 piercings, many of them on his face and genitals, according to Guinness World Records.

Airport and immigration officials referred questions to the police, […]