Travolta, Nelly visit Saudi Arabia

US celebrities John Travolta and Nelly were in Saudi Arabia last week as the Gulf kingdom undergoes a vast "modernisation" plan launched by Crown Prince Mohammed Salman.

Actor Travolta was in the capital Riyadh on Friday to meet fans and talk about "the secrets of Hollywood" and his artistic career, while rapper Nelly gave a concert on Thursday in Jeddah on the west coast.

Only men were allowed admittance to Nelly's performance, for which US media had reported he would not rap about women or marijuana.

As part of the crown prince's modernisation drive, enshrined in the "Vision 2030" plan unveiled last April, the kingdom has recently organised artistic events open to both sexes and has also announced the forthcoming reopening of previously banned cinemas.

In addition to diversifying an economy still too dependent on oil, the plan provides for developing tourism, sports and entertainment, despite opposition from some religious circles. - AFP