Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Tourism made an announcement on May 12 that the country has chosen Lionel Messi, the globally adored and admired Argentine star footballer, as its tourism ambassador. The Paris-Germain footballer arrived in Jeddah on Monday to enjoy the Jeddah Season 2022.
Messi is the new tourism brand ambassador announced by the Tourism Ministry of Saudi Arabia on May 12. While on his visit, he will explore the Kingdom and spend his time checking out the most exciting spots in the country. The news about the arrival of the star footballer in Saudi Arabia was shared on social media on Monday by Saudi Tourism Minister Ahmed Al-Khateeb.
Messi’s arrival in Saudi Arabia
Messi landed at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah along with a family member and a club as well as a national team player, Leandro Paredes. Soon after his arrival, photos began appearing on social media of the 34-year-old star footballer being welcomed to the Kingdom. Fans unaware of the developments speculated that Messi’s visit might be for commercial activities or to enjoy the Jeddah Season 2022. “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 2022, and our ancient history. This is not his first visit to the Kingdom, and it will not be the last”. Messi is also slipping into his role as a tourism ambassador smoothly. Snippets from his Saudi Arabia trip were posted on his official Instagram account. The first of these was about a yacht trip on the Red Sea with friends.
Messi’s fans in the Kingdom are delighted with the development of a healthy and beneficial relationship. Most enthusiastic among them is the Saudi national team forward, Sami Al Jaber. “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”, Sami Al Jaber tweeted recently.
Messi’s relationship with Saudi Arabia
As part of the Jeddah Season visit, Messi will attend a number of events. The Jeddah Season is one of the most awaited festivals in the country. Around 2800 events covering art, culture, and entertainment will be held across the city from May to June. This was the fourth time Messi was visiting Saudi Arabia. The first time was when he led his country Argentina in 2011 in a friendly match against the Saudi national team at King Fahd International Stadium in Riyadh 2011. The second visit was during the Super Classico Cup played between Argentina and Brazil in Riyadh. The third visit was when his club faced Atletico Madrid in a semi-final match hosted at the Saudi’s King Abdullah Sports City stadium in Jeddah.
The local social media was buzzing with excitement over the global football star’s arrival. Mohammed Al-Sadhan, a Twitter user, wrote: “As a fan of Messi myself, I am excited about his collaboration and that he will help more people discover this amazing country called Saudi Arabia”.
Messi also posted a picture of himself with friends and fellow player Leandro Parades. It was clicked on a yacht on the Red Sea. Messi captioned the post: “Discovering the Red Sea #VisitSaudi”.
Saudi Arabia and the world look forward to the tourism industry development in the Kingdom, with Messi becoming its brand ambassador.