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Federal Foreign Office on the lifting of the ban on cinemas in Saudi Arabia

13.12.2017 - Press release

A Federal Foreign Office Spokesperson issued the following statement today (13 December) on the Saudi Arabian Government’s decision to permit cinemas to open in the country:

The Federal Government welcomes the recent decision by the Saudi Arabian Government to permit cinemas to open in Saudi Arabia as of early next year. This is a further important step in the process of opening the country’s culture.

The Federal Government is following with keen interest the rapid economic and social transformation of Saudi Arabia that is taking place in pursuit of the Vision 2030 plan that was presented by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The fitting way to support this opening is by strengthening cultural exchange. We will continue to proceed down this path, together with Saudi Arabia.

Background information:

On 11 December, the Saudi Arabian Government decided to lift the ban on cinemas that had been in place in Saudi Arabia since the early 1980s. This is part of Vision 2030, an ambitious economic and social reform programme. It includes modernising Saudi Arabia’s economy, strengthening the rights of women, a moderate interpretation of Islam and expanding cultural freedom.


By participating in the Janadriyah cultural festival in Saudi Arabia in 2016, the Federal Foreign Office has made an important contribution to enhancing dialogue between both societies. We have also worked to steadily expand the framework for vibrant exchange with young Saudi Arabian artists and culture professionals.


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