The UAE announced on Sunday that it will no longer censor theatrical films, the country’s latest effort to strengthen its brand as a liberal hub attractive to foreigners.
Instead of cutting out sensitive scenes that might offend traditional Islamic sensibilities, the UAE Media Regulatory Authority will introduce a new age category of 21 and over for viewers.
“The films will be shown in theaters according to their international version,” the authority said in a Twitter post.
Censors in the UAE, as elsewhere in the Middle East, have long since removed scenes from film releases that showed nudity, homosexuality, sex and other content deemed inappropriate – sometimes leading to holes in the film. the plot.
Foreigners outnumber locals nearly nine to one in the Federation of Seven Sheikhs. The diversity of culture and religion in the tourism dependent country has at times been at odds with its Islamic laws and traditions.
But that is changing as the nation promotes its socially liberal environment to attract international workers. The government has reformed its Islamic legal code and next year will change its weekend to Saturday-Sunday to align with Western businesses and markets.