Friday, January 28

Is Saudi Arabia becoming a tourist destination?

Desert Raven, film festival and Formula 1 race. What’s happening in the world’s most conservative kingdom?

Briefly explained:

  • Saudi Arabia opens up to foreign tourists.
  • At the same time, the inhabitants have been given more freedoms in recent years.
  • The development is part of the economic strategy of the country’s Crown Prince.
  • Critics warn against believing that Saudi Arabia is becoming a more democratic and just country.

– I’m so happy and proud to be back! I see the scene grow here, it’s so exciting to witness!

Few DJs draw as many spectators as Frenchman David Guetta. In December, he played for one of his biggest audiences ever. It happened in a surprising place.

On the surface, Saudi Soundstorm could look like any Western music festival. But there was no alcohol here, and there were far more men than women present. Several times the party stopped for 15 minutes, while prayers replaced the music.

Still: A huge rave in the desert, with hundreds of thousands present. Young women without a headscarf and men with sparkling eyeliner.

Unthinkable just a few years ago. What is going on?

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