UAE ends cinema censorship, adopts 21+ age rating for movies

21+ age category will allow films to be screened without editing in their original “international version"

Abu Dhabi: The United Arab Emirates (UAE) announced on Sunday that it will no longer censor cinematic releases, adopting a new 21 and above age rating for movies.

According to the UAE Media Regulatory Office, the 21+ age category will allow films to be screened without editing in their original “international version”.

Cinemas must adhere strictly to the new age rating, requiring proof of identification that a person is over 21.

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The highest age rating until now was 18, which relatively few releases come under.

There is a set of symbols that indicate the appropriate age classification system for different age groups, for the content of cinematic movies: (G, PG, PG13, PG15, 15+ and 18+).

  • G- General Audiences
  • PG- Parental Guidance
  • PG13- Parents Strongly Cautioned
  • PG15- A parent or guardian must accompany anyone under that age
  • 15+- No persons under 15 years of age will be admitted
  • 18+- No persons under 18 years of age will be admitted.

According to this classification, films will be shown in cinemas according to their international version, and the classification is given based on the standards of media content in the country.

This comes at a time when the Gulf state is constantly updating its social laws. In 2020, the UAE announced amendments to some personal status laws as part of its efforts to develop its legislative structure.

The Gulf country also allowed unmarried people to live together, eased controls on the purchase and consumption of alcohol, began granting long-term residence visas, and allowed full foreign ownership of companies.

The UAE announced earlier on December 7, 2021, that it is reducing the weekly working days from five to four and a half days and changing the weekend from Friday and Saturday to Saturday and Sunday.

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