Saudi Arabia: Cinemas Will Be Allowed in 2018

Saudi Arabia will begin allowing public cinemas in March 2018, for the first time in more than 35 years. In the early 1980s, movie theaters were banned under pressure from Islamists, but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s government is reportedly easing many of the restrictions enacted during that time. The 32-year-old is also expected to lift the ban on women driving next year. “Opening cinemas will act as a catalyst for economic growth and diversification,” said Minister of Culture and Information Awwad bin Saleh Alawwad. “By developing the broader cultural sector, we will create new employment and training opportunities, as well as enriching the kingdom’s entertainment options.”