Lionel Messi unveiled as Saudi Arabia’s new tourism ambassador
11 May, 2022
Lionel Messi has arrived in Saudi Arabia after being announced as the kingdom’s latest tourism ambassador.
The Paris Saint-Germain footballer landed in Jeddah on Monday in time for Jeddah Season.
He will also take a tour of some top attractions alongside the Saudi Tourism Authority.
The Argentinian star's arrival was heralded on social media on Monday by Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al Khateeb.
“I am pleased to welcome Lionel Messi to Saudi Arabia,” he wrote. “We are excited for you to explore the treasure of the Red Sea, the Jeddah Season and our ancient history.This is not his first visit to the Kingdom and it will not be the last.” Messi also posted a picture of himself and friends, including fellow PSG player Leandro Parades, on a yacht watching the sunset. “Discovering the Red Sea #VisitSaudi,” he captioned the pictures.
The announcement that Messi would be Saudi’s latest tourism ambassador was met with delight from fans in the kingdom, including fellow footballer Sami Al Jaber, who is a forward for the Saudi national team.
“It is a very distinguished and unique step to have Messi as an ambassador for Saudi Tourism due to the huge impact the player has, which will reflect positively on Jeddah’s position as a tourist destination,” he said in a tweet.
Messi will also attend events taking place as part of Jeddah Season during his visit. The art, culture and entertainment festival promises 2,800 events to be staged across the city in May and June.
Anime fans will enjoy the events at City Walk Zone, while the country's largest zoo will be housed, fittingly, within Jeddah Jungle.
There will be a fireworks display on the promenade each night, as well as a continuing science festival, a host of performances by Arab and international names — including K-Pop stars — new restaurants, cafes and amusement parks. There will even be a show created especially for the occasion by Cirque du Soleil, entitled Fuzion, which will run for a month.