• July 24, 2024

Interested in experiencing a vacation similar to that of a celebrity? Discover the steps to replicate the remarkable Saudi Arabian journey of Argentina’s Lionel Messi and learn about Al Hilal’s staggering €1.2 billion offer to Messi.

During their recent trip, the Argentine legend and his family were captivated by the family-friendly allure of Riyadh.

Even if you lack the soccer skills to reach the World Cup, there is an alternative way to emulate the footsteps of one of football’s greatest figures. Lionel Messi and his family recently embarked on a vacation to Saudi Arabia, and it’s simple to replicate the soccer star’s action-packed schedule in the world’s newest and most thrilling year-round destination.

 

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In May, accompanied by his wife and children, the Paris Saint-Germain forward journeyed to the Saudi capital, where the young family had an immersive experience of Riyadh’s dynamic blend of culture and urban attractions.

Having been appointed as a Saudi Tourism Ambassador last year, the Argentine footballer made his third visit to the country within a year, having previously explored the coastal city of Jeddah.

Furthermore, he joins a prestigious list of high-profile personalities, including Priyanka Chopra, Sharon Stone, and Jessica Alba, who have been drawn to Saudi Arabia’s enticing combination of modernity and heritage, as they too have visited the country in recent months.

 

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At the top of Messi’s list of priorities was a visit to At-Turaif, a 300-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the mud-brick city of Diriyah, which serves as the original residence of the Saudi dynasty. This historical gem holds a significant position among the six UNESCO World Heritage Sites in the kingdom, standing as the esteemed historical core of the nation.

Accompanied by his family, the footballer embarked on a tour of this site, delving into the origins of the first Saudi state and embracing the allure of traditional Najdi architecture. Exploring family-friendly Diriyah on foot is an option, with guided tours available to help you discover the markets, museums, and green spaces that adorn the area. Additionally, the city is home to the Arabian Horse Museum, where visitors can encounter magnificent Arabian purebred horses and witness the grandeur of falcons—the majestic birds of prey cherished for centuries by the nomadic Bedouin people. These birds were traditionally trained by tribesmen to assist in hunting under the scorching desert sun, a practice passed down through generations.

Prior to their visit to Diriyah, the Messi family had an additional wildlife experience as they paid a visit to a local farm, where they had the opportunity to feed indigenous Arabian gazelles. The Arabian gazelle, which was once on the brink of extinction, has now been successfully reintroduced to the desert thanks to one of the most extensive rewilding and conservation programs ever implemented in Saudi Arabia.

 

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Saudi Arabia boasts a diverse range of plant and animal life, offering a multitude of exploration opportunities for visitors. Whether it involves observing ostriches up close at Nofa Wildlife Park, witnessing camels roam the sandy dunes on a desert safari, or swimming alongside turtles, octopuses, and rare fish in the crystal-clear waters of the Red Sea, there is something for everyone.

During times of rising temperatures, there are numerous nearby havens that provide a respite for relaxation. The UNESCO-listed oasis of Al-Ahsa, conveniently reachable by a two-hour train ride from Riyadh, stands as the largest oasis in the world, boasting approximately 2.5 million date palms and stunning clear water springs. For the adventurous souls, the remarkable coral reefs along Saudi Arabia’s winding Red Sea coast can be enjoyed throughout the year, as can the refreshing and verdant highlands of Asir, where locals often choose to spend their summers.

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