International US rapper Nicki Minaj is set to thrill Saudi Arabia fans this month. Minaj, known for her raunchy music videos and profanity-laced lyrics, will perform on July 18 in the western city of Jeddah. The organizers of the ongoing Jeddah Season cultural festival announced on Twitter on Tuesday.
The cultural festival to be televised on MTV will also feature American DJ Steve Aoki and British musician Liam Payne.
Robert Quirke, an event organizer said, “Minaj is going to be actively on her social media, she’ll be posting right from the stage in Jeddah and at her hotel in Jeddah.”
“the world is going to know that Nicki Minaj has landed in Saudi Arabia.”
The performance in the kingdom, which is against alcohol and has a strict social code, follows as Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman pursues a sweeping liberalization drive that has led to new concerts and cinemas and sporting extravaganzas.
When the news of Minaj broke out, it was widely welcomed in a country where two-thirds of the population is under 30, with a Twitter user posting a picture of Minaj and writing: “My dream has come true”.
The Islamic country is boosting entertainment that allows citizens to have fun, in what some see as an attempt to blunt public frustration over an economic downturn and high youth unemployment.
The kingdom’s General Entertainment Authority said it plans to pump $64 billion into its entertainment industry in the coming years.
The amendment also stems partly from an economic motive to boost domestic spending on the sector as the kingdom has reeled from low oil prices.
Saudis currently lavish billions of dollars yearly to visit amusement parks and see films in neighboring tourist hubs like Bahrain and Dubai.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is yet to grant tourist visas, the country has fast-tracked electronic permits for international visitors to participate in such festivals to further enhance revenue.