Saudi tourism commission says access for women still restricted

Opened the world's first “women's” showroom

Saudi tourism commission says access for women still restricted

Conservative critics, including the head of Saudi Arabia's religious authority, grand mufti Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Sheikh, are staunchly against the cinema ban lift.

While the films are being censored to appease conservatives, Saudi authorities plan to open 300 cinemas with 2,000 screens by 2030, Reuters reports. As Reuters notes, the first films screened this weekend were The Emoji Movie and Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie.

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He added that Saudi Arabia-Japan trade volume reached more than SAR100 billion (USD37.5 billion) previous year, and the total number of Japanese companies investing in the kingdom was 96, with investments exceeding SAR53 billion (USD14.1 billion). That hasn't stopped some temporary solutions from popping up, including a makeshift theater in the city of Jeddah (with a projector, red carpet, and even popcorn). Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has led various reforms, including lifting the ban, to ease some of the economic and cultural restrictions placed upon the country. In September, Saudi Arabia made the announcement that women would be able to drive by June 2018.

'Until now, there is no infrastructure for movie theatres, so we are trying to take advantage of [alternative] venues to approximate the cinematic form, ' said Mamdouh Salim, whose Cinema 70 brand organised the week-long screenings.

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They must also inform tourists of Saudi laws and customers before the trip and make sure they behave respectfully while in the country. They will continue to need a male family member with them in order to travel to Saudi Arabia.

On the other hand, Saudi Arabian National Tourism Agency as well as other tourism agencies working in the country need to receive the required certificates from the Tourism and National Heritage Commission to bring women tourists to the kingdom.

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Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, wants nuclear power to diversify its energy supply mix, enabling it to export more crude rather than burning it to generate electricity. "I hope everything is available: action, romance, children's films, comedy".

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