Lionel Messi Joins Saudi Tourism in ‘Go Beyond What You Think’ Campaign!

Lionel Messi Joins Saudi Tourism in 'Go Beyond What You Think' Campaign!

Discover Saudi Arabia with Lionel Messi and the “Go Beyond What You Think” campaign. Explore the vibrant cultural transformation, diverse landscapes, and open culture of Saudi.

To change Saudi Arabia’s perception as a travel destination, the national tourism brand, ‘Saudi Welcome To Arabia,’ has embarked on a global marketing campaign featuring no other than football legend and Saudi Tourism Ambassador Lionel Messi. This campaign, titled “Go Beyond What You Think,” aims to dispel common misconceptions about Saudi Arabia and invites travelers to experience the remarkable cultural transformation happening in the country. In this article, we will take you through this groundbreaking campaign, shedding light on Saudi’s diverse landscapes, open culture, and visa initiatives that make visiting this nation easier.

Messi’s Saudi Connection

Lionel Messi, a name synonymous with football greatness, is not just a random face for this campaign. Messi has a deep connection with Saudi Arabia, having visited the country multiple times, most recently with his wife, Antonella, and their two children last Spring. The fact that Messi and his family have expressed their delight in their Saudi experiences speaks volumes about the nation’s appeal.

The “Go Beyond What You Think” Campaign

Lionel Messi Joins Saudi Tourism in 'Go Beyond What You Think' Campaign!

Breaking Down Misconceptions

The heart of this campaign lies in addressing misconceptions head-on. It boldly challenges visitors to discover the unexpected beyond outdated stereotypes. A hero video featuring Messi is pivotal in breaking down metaphorical ‘walls’ of various misconceptions about Saudi Arabia.

Showcasing Saudi’s Diversity

The campaign’s video showcases Saudi’s diverse locations, weather, and terrain. From the pristine waters of the Red Sea to the lush green mountains in Aseer, from snow-covered Tabuk to the coastal city of Jeddah and bustling Riyadh – Saudi Arabia offers a rich tapestry of experiences for travelers.

Highlighting Activities and Attractions

Messi’s campaign doesn’t stop at landscapes but highlights some of Saudi’s most exciting activities and attractions. From the Diriyah E-Prix to Riyadh Season’s thrilling theme park rides, AlUla’s mesmerizing hot air balloon flights, to the electrifying MDL Beast music events – there’s something for everyone.

Celebrating Saudi Women Trailblazers

The campaign also celebrates Saudi’s open and welcoming culture and the importance of inspiring young Saudi women to reach their full potential. Messi spotlighted Saudi women who have been trailblazers in their fields, including the Saudi Women’s National football team, motorsport athlete Dania Akeel, DJ Cosmicat, and Rayyanah Barnawi, the first Saudi woman in space.

Saudi’s Tourism Renaissance

A New Era of Tourism

With this campaign, Saudi continues to pioneer a new tourism development and growth era. The nation is creating new destinations and providing show-stopping experiences, all while embracing sustainability and enabling world-class culture, entertainment, and sports scenes to flourish.

Sunny Winter Season

Saudi Arabia comes alive during its sunny Winter Season, making it ‘the world’s most happening winter.’ This year, the country hosts 17,000 events, including Riyadh Season, Jeddah Season, and Diriyah Season. Notable events include the Saudi Cup, Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, AlUla Arts Festival, AlUla Skies Festival, and much more.

Messi’s Upcoming Matches

As a delightful bonus, the campaign is launching ahead of Messi’s imminent and much-anticipated return to Saudi Arabia. He will be playing two matches with his current club, Inter Miami, against Al Nassr on 1st February and against Al Hilal on 29th January.

Visa Initiatives for Easier Travel

To make visiting Saudi Arabia more accessible, the nation has implemented several visa initiatives. These include the eVisa program, which now includes 63 countries and special administrative regions, the GCC residents visa, and the free 96-hour Stopover Visa.

Stopover Visa Benefits

Travelers holding the Stopover Visa are eligible for a complimentary one-night hotel stay during their stopover when booking with the national carrier, SAUDIA. This offers tourists a fantastic opportunity to explore Saudi Arabia and even perform Umrah.

Lionel Messi Joins Saudi Tourism in 'Go Beyond What You Think' Campaign!


In conclusion, Saudi Arabia’s “Go Beyond What You Think” campaign, featuring Lionel Messi, is a game-changer in the world of tourism. It challenges misconceptions, showcases Saudi’s diverse landscapes and attractions, celebrates its open culture, and offers easier access through various visa initiatives. With Messi’s upcoming matches and the country’s vibrant Winter Season, there has never been a better time to explore Saudi Arabia. So, pack your bags, leave stereotypes behind, and embark on a journey to discover the true beauty of Saudi Arabia – a land of surprises and wonders.

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