Films shown in cinemas in the UAE will no longer be subject to censorship. The authorities announced this on Sunday. These are films that will belong to a new category of films, prohibited for those under the age of 21.
“Films rated 21+ will be shown in their international version with strict age controls,” the media regulator said on Twitter.
Film censorship is a common practice in the Arab world, especially in the ultra-conservative Gulf region. Films with scenes that are not in keeping with local norms are often adapted, according to the authorities, or simply do not appear in the cinema.
The UAE, where 90 percent of its population is expatriate, has undergone a major modernization process in recent years to become one of the most progressive countries in the Gulf region. To make the Emirates more attractive, the authorities allow cohabitation, the rules regarding alcohol have been relaxed and foreigners can stay in the country for an extended period of time.
From January 1, the UAE will also introduce Western Weekend, on Saturdays and Sundays. In other Muslim countries in the region, the weekend runs from Friday (the important Friday prayer day) to Saturday.
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