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10 Apr 2018, Gergana Bencheva, EMIS Editor

Saudi Arabia to use French expertise to develop music, opera, cinema industries

Saudi Arabia plans to use French expertise to develop its music, opera and cinema industries, the Manila Bulletin reported as the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman began his official trip to Paris on April 9. The prince’s visit aims to help boost cultural and business ties between the two countries.

Riyadh plans to set up a national opera and orchestra and has inked a deal with the Paris opera company to receive support in producing its own classical music and shows. Also, the Gulf state aims to enter short films at the Cannes cinema festival as it plans to develop a sustainable and dynamic film industry.

The move is in line with Prince Salman’s project to modernise the kingdom and diversify its economy. He has already lifted the ban on women driving, issued a decree to re-open cinemas and has allowed mixed-gender concerts despite firm opposition from religious hardliners, the Manila Bulletin added.

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