Barbie is definitely coming to UAE cinemas.
The UAE Media Council has announced it has cleared the Greta Gerwig-directed comedy, currently the highest-grossing film of 2023.
“The UAE Media Council has granted the Barbie movie the approval to be screened in the UAE’s licensed cinemas after completing the necessary procedures in line with the standards of media content and the UAE age classification,” the authority announced late Thursday evening.
Barbie was initially scheduled to be released on July 20 along with the rest of the world. However, early last month, cinema websites in the UAE changed the screening date to August 31. No explanation was given for the change.
After Thursday’s announcement, it was not immediately clear whether or not the UAE release date would be updated. As of Friday morning, Barbie is still listed for release on August 31 on Vox Cinemas‘ website.
Starring Margot Robbie in the titular role and Ryan Gosling as Ken, Barbie follows the pair as they set off on an adventure in the real world.
The record-breaking film also had the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film directed by a woman. It has already grossed more than $800 million at the global box office, setting it on track to be the next billion-dollar flick.
“That’s a crazy number,” Jeff Goldstein, distribution chief for Warner Bros, said last week. “There’s just a built-in audience that wants to be part of the zeitgeist of the moment. Wherever you go, people are wearing pink. Pink is taking over the world.”
The film has also been a huge marketing success, even prompting activists such as Greta Thunberg and Malala Yousafzai to give it their seal of approval.
Climate activist Thunberg, who joined demonstrators in London last week to protest against the planned development of the Rosebank oil and gas field, used an audio clip from the film to drive home her message.
In the audio, Robbie’s Barbie asks her fellow Barbies the existential question: “Do you guys ever think about dying?”
Thunberg’s video features the words: “Do you guys ever think about the climate crisis?”, along with the names of British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, UK Energy Secretary Grant Shapps and energy company Equinor.
Last month, a 3D video showing a giant Barbie walking out of her pink packaging and standing next to Burj Khalifa went viral on social media.
The video, created by a social media agency in Dubai, has been viewed more than three million times since it was posted on Instagram.