Saudi Arabia invites Nicki Minaj to perform at the Jeddah World Fest

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In an unusual move by the famously conservative kingdom, Saudi Arabia has invited American rapper Nicki Minaj to perform at their Jeddah World Fest this month

The Anaconda singer is scheduled to headline the Jeddah World Fest, a music and performance festival which starts on July 18.

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Musicians – Steve Aoki, Liam Payne and K-Pop all appear on the line-up, with more stars to be announced soon. The kingdom is offering quick online visas for international visitors.

The event, open to people 16-years-old and above, will take place at the KASC Stadium with performances kicking off at 9.30pm.

“This is the largest musical festival of its kind in the region that will be broadcast to a global audience in more than 100 countries,” said Raed Abuzinadah, the director-general Jeddah Season. “There is a stereotype of the kingdom all over the world, and today it is disappearing. In its place is a new picture of the kingdom that accepts everyone.”

“This international project is truly special for Jeddah City and for all the young people of Saudi Arabia,” added Robert Quirke, the chairman of the ROQU Media International, the event organiser. “This is the first global music festival of this scale in KSA and is sure to absolutely wow the lucky audience in Jeddah like never before.”

The Saudi government has made efforts in recent times to relax some of its restrictions. In 2018, a 35-year ban on movie theaters was lifted, and women were finally given the right to drive, CNN reported.

Mariah Carey held her own concert in Saudi Arabia earlier this year, despite backlash from women’s rights activists. It’s all part of an economic overhaul under Vision 2030, an effort to reduce the kingdom’s reliance on oil.

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