Riyadh skyline, Saudi Arabia.
Image Credit: Pixabay

Cairo: Saudi authorities have stopped a plan for a rare celebration of the New Year’s Eve in the country and said the event was not licensed, according to Saudi news portal Ajel.

Over the past few days, news has gone viral on social media, reporting a celebration of the New Year’s Eve in the city of Mellham north of the capital Riyadh. The reported gala would feature fireworks and DJ shows.

The state General Entertainment Authority, responsible for entertainment events in the kingdom, said it had not licensed the Mellham celebration.

“The organiser of the event has been stopped and a notification lodged with the governorate of Riyadh to take legal action against him,” the agency said, according to Ajel.

In recent years, Saudi Arabia has implemented sweeping social and economic reforms, as the country is seeking to shed its ultra-conservative image and diversify its oil-dependent economy. 

Last year, women in the kingdom were allowed to go behind the wheel, ending a years-long ban on female driving. Cinemas were also reopened.

Top entertainers from across the globe have performed at sell-out concerts in Saudi Arabia in recent months.