UAE announces to End Censorship in Cinematic releases

On December 19, 2021, United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced to end the censorship in cinematic releases.

Key Points

  • UAE administration decided to end censorship, in a bid to attract foreigners.
  • As per latest announcement, government will not cut sensitive scenes which offend the Islamic sentiments.
  • Administration have also introduced a new ‘above 21 years of age’ category for viewers.
  • Now, movies will be screened in cinemas as per their international version and their classification will be given on the basis of standards of media content in UAE.

Significance of the decision

The decision to end censorship is being interpreted as UAE’s effort to become competitive in the Gulf region and appear broad-minded & liberal to foreigners. This step is significant for country, as it tries to diversify its economy by attracting foreign investment and reducing dependence on oil.

What were the norms earlier?

Earlier, the scenes which showed nudity and other inappropriate content, were removed from the movies in UAE. This sometimes affected the plot of movies.

Other decision by government to attract international workers

  1. Recently, government of UAE made changes to the work week in country. This decision was taken as authorities have been trying to promote UAE to attract international workers. Government also reformed its Islamic legal code. From 2022, weekends in UAE will not be operational. Working week for government employees will be from Monday to Friday, and Friday being half day. The work week was changed to make the country work as per western schedules. New working week also help in boosting its tourism and work efficiency.
  2. Apart from that, UAE also came up with some social or “secular-leaning reforms”. Country had decriminalised the consumption of alcohol and allowed out-of-marriage cohabitation.

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