Saudi Arabia Opens Borders for International Artists

The conservative nation might be having a cultural renaissance

Saudi Arabia has been making a huge effort to support the growth of culture in the conservative Kingdom over the last few years. The large-scale project, which was launched by the country’s brand-new Ministry of Culture and spearheaded by Prince Badr Bin Abdullah bin Farhan, have just made some major announcements.

At a ceremony held in Riyadh, the newly appointed Saudi Culture Minister unveiled a string of plans set to take place over the coming years. The new initiatives include everything from new visas and funding for artists, film festivals, exhibitions and even fashion weeks.

“Today marks a turning point in the history of our nation,” he said. “It is rare that a nation undergoes a massive revival of its culture, and that is exactly what is happening.”

For the first time, the previously closed-off nation is opening its borders to international artists, allowing them to live in the Kingdom by offering a new residency visa. Details on the application process have yet to be revealed.

The plans also put focus on the nation’s budding film industry by launching the Red Sea International Film Festival in Jeddah, which will be held in 2020.

And in an effort to provide resources for local Saudi youth, Prince bin Farhan announced plans for a new artist fund, as well as a scholarship program in an effort to expand education.

“The transformation of arts and culture will benefit all Saudis, young and old, from every corner of our country,” added Prince Bin Abdullah Bin Farhan. “It will help build bridges of understanding”.

Share this article

Related stories