Athletic apparel maker Puma has pulled a line of shoes decked out in the colours of the United Arab Emirates flag following criticism that the sneakers were disrespectful.
The German company confirmed on Wednesday that it has ordered the shoes in the national colours of red, white, black and green off store shelves in Dubai and other Emirati cities.
Puma says it is sorry for any trouble caused and "never intended to upset or offend" customers in the Middle East. Puma launched the limited-edition shoes to celebrate the fortieth anniversary of the UAE.
Shoes are considered dirty and showing the soles of one's shoes is considered disrespectful throughout the Arab world. That prompted complaints that putting the national colours onto the sneakers was culturally insensitive.