Saudi Arabia, UAE Allow Formerly Forbidden Entertainment in Liberalization Bid
Liberalization appears to have come to the Arabian Peninsula as two countries allow entertainment that would have been forbidden in the past. Over 700,000 people converged on the MDLBeast Soundstorm electronic music festival, a four-day event held in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh that ended on Sunday. Over 200 music artists took art in the festival, which is in its third year. The festival occurred in Saudi Arabia just a few years after the kingdom lifted a ban on music and dancing, part of the liberalization efforts undertaken by Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Meanwhile, the United Arab Emirates on Sunday announced that it will no longer censor films released in movie theaters, and will not remove scenes that show nudity, homosexuality, sex and other content deemed inappropriate for Muslim audiences. The unedited films will fall under a 21+ rating, and movie theaters will require proof of age before letting a person into a screening.