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Saudi Welcome to ArabiaLionel Messi, the renowned football icon and Saudi Tourism Ambassador, recently embarked on his second trip to Saudi Arabia with his family. The trip provided the perfect opportunity for the family to explore Saudi’s unique blend of culture and modernity.

Leo Messi and family were given some insider tips on the art of palm weaving

Leo Messi and his family were given some insider tips on the art of palm weaving.

During their visit, the family indulged in various exciting activities, from experiencing the rich cultural heritage of the 300-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site in Diriyah to enjoying a fine dining experience at Al Bujairi Terrace, which overlooks the beautifully lit At-Turaif district. They also explored VIA Riyadh, the Saudi capital’s new luxury destination.

One of the highlights of their trip was the guided tour of Diriyah, the birthplace of the First Saudi State and one of six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Saudi Arabia. The Messi family also had the opportunity to interact with purebred Arabian horses at the Arabian Horse Museum and witness a palm weaving demonstration on an authentic Saudi farm.

On the second day of the trip, the family explored the modern metropolis of Riyadh, with its bright city lights, music festivals, and range of cuisine from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants. They visited two of the city’s ultra-modern entertainment and retail districts, VIA Riyadh and Boulevard Riyadh City, which are set to become premier luxury destinations.

Leo Messi with the white falcon in Diriyah

Leo Messi with the white falcon in Diriyah

While Saudi Arabia is known for its awe-inspiring desert, the Rub’ Al Khali (Empty Quarter), the Kingdom also has a diverse landscape that can be enjoyed year-round. Visitors can explore the UNESCO-listed oasis of Al-Ahsa, the pristine coral reefs of Saudi’s 1,700km long great Red Sea coast, and the cool, green highlands of Asir.

Saudi’s warm hospitality, known as Hafawa, makes it a perfect family-friendly destination. According to the Economist Intelligence Unit, Riyadh is also one of the Top 50 Safest Cities in the World.

Visiting Saudi Arabia has never been easier, with more flights available from more countries worldwide. eVisa applications through the easy-to-use online portal are available for international visitors from 49 eligible countries. The country has also launched a new stopover visa, which is free of charge and available to passengers travelling with SAUDIA and FlyNas. It allows visitors to stay in the country for up to 96 hours.

Messi’s family-friendly experience in Saudi Arabia highlights the country’s potential as a must-visit destination for families. With its blend of old and new, cultural and cosmopolitan, there is truly something for everyone to enjoy.

For more information on the Saudi experience, visit visitsaudi.com/en or follow @AskVisitSaudi.




Written by: Stephen Morton