Make like Ronaldo at these shops, sights and stadiums.
Saudi Arabia has welcomed a new resident: superstar footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo. Since he signed with the country’s football team, Al Nassr, he has moved with his family to Riyadh. Plus, he has been spotted around town with his partner Georgina Rodriguez, his five children and even his mum.
The family are not ones to shy away from sharing – Georgina has a Netflix reality TV show called I Am Georgina, and Ronaldo did make a public visit to SushiSamba Dubai, after all. So, in Riyadh, Ronaldo & Co have been seen at luxury hotels and restaurants.
As Ronaldo puts on his Saudi stripes, he is making the most of the capital. TV presenter and friend to the footballer, Piers Morgan, shared that Ronaldo is “absolutely loving Saudi, on and off the pitch”. So, if you want to feel like a multimillion-dollar footballer or WAG, here is how to do Riyadh like Ronaldo.
Ronaldo bought the romance on Valentine’s Day, as he treated his partner to a meal at Clap. Not afraid to share his feelings, he declared on Instagram: “Happy Valentine’s Day meu amor! So lucky to have you in my life!” The pair were pictured with their arms around each other, and smiling inside the restaurant. Clap first started as a pop-up during Riyadh Season, and is now located in Ramla Terraza district.
GO: Visit www.claprestaurant.com for more information.
It seems that the hustle bustle of Riyadh can even get too much for Ronaldo. So, when it came to celebrating his birthday, he chose the depths of the desert. He was spotted in an Arabian tent and around a campfire with his friends and family. The guests included his old-time friends Jose Semedo and Miguel Paixao, Madrid reporter Edu Aguirre and his wife Julia Salmean, and his managers Ricky Regufe and Miguel Marques. Plus, on a later occasion, Georgina was spotted in the desert with just the children.
GO: Visit www.visitsaudi.com for more information.
Not just a footballing fan, Ronaldo watched the boxing match between Jake Paul and Tommy Fury. He even took a photo with American boxer Mike Tyson, but social media was more interested in what was on his wrist than who he was with. He was wearing a Franck Muller Cintree Curvex Tourbillon watch, which costs an eyewatering $1,500,000.
GO: Visit www.diriyah.sa for more information.
If you want to guarantee seeing Ronaldo, look no further than Saudi Arabia’s footballing stadiums. The locations include King Abdullah Sports City, King Saud University Stadium, Prince Abdullah bin Jalawi Sports City Stadium and Prince Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Stadium. Check online for the latest match dates.
GO: Visit https://alnassr.sa for more information.
Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre
While every expat can relate to living in a hotel apartment before finding their home, not all of us can relate to Ronaldo’s rumoured hotel bill: £250,000 per month. His hotel of choice was Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre, which is located in downtown Riyadh. We expect celebrities to boast an MTV Cribs-worthy pad, and it was reported that he booked out 17 suites – and that’s just for the entourage. He was thought to be staying in the Kingdom Suite, which had a living room, dining room and cinema. Incidentally, this is where FACT’s Editor-in-Chief stayed during his most recent trip to the Saudi capital.
GO: Visit www.fourseasons.com/riyadh/ for more information.
Iris Café inside Riyadh’s new Ramla Terraza development is a serene spot. Pass the little lake and tall trees, and you’ll find this cute café. With venues in Bahrain, Lebanon and Qatar, it’s loved for its international menu. Do as Ronaldo did when he visited with Georgina Rodríguez in September 2023, and settle into one of the semi-circle sofas while watching the chefs work some dry ice theatrics on the desserts.
GO: Follow @ramlaterraza on Instagram for more information.
Jacob & Co
Ronaldo has not yet been spotted inside Jacob & Co, but Jacob & Co has been spotted on him – lots. When Ronaldo arrived in Saudi Arabia, he was gifted Jacob & Co’s Caviar Tourbillion Tsavorites watch. The emerald green watch boasts 389 gems that are the exact same colour and a price tag of $770,000. So, when the luxury brand recently launched its first boutique in the kingdom, it did so with a limited-edition Christiano Ronaldo collection.
GO: Visit https://jacobandco.com for more information.
King Khalid International Airport
A common place to spot a celebrity is at the airport. Those jetsetters are often seen landing or taking off, and that was the case with Ronaldo and his family – even his mother came into town. When Ronaldo first arrived into the kingdom, he was greeted with a bouquet of flowers and a billboard of himself.
GO: Visit https://kkia.sa for more information.
If there’s one place to get your selfies on, it’s Kingdom Centre. Georgina tagged herself inside the building, which is home to Four Seasons Hotel Riyadh at Kingdom Centre. Kingdom Centre is one of Riyadh’s most iconic landmarks. The soaring tower is 300 meters high, and has a must-visit tourist attraction on the 99th floor. We’d like to imagine that they visited the observation deck and glass walkway, which is a great way for newbies to get their bearings.
GO: Visit https://kingdomcentre.com.sa for more information.
When it came to celebrating Georgina’s birthday, the family chose The Boulevard’s Lavash. The Armenian restaurant celebrated Georgina, as she shared photos of herself by her name in neon lights. Lavash prides itself on being the first Armenian restaurant in Riyadh, and it serves hot and cold starters, soups, salads, fatteh and grills. So, if want Riyadh like Ronaldo, add this restaurant to your list.
GO: Follow @eat_lavash on Instagram for more information.
Fine dining French restaurant La Maschou welcomed the pair back in January 2021. On Instagram, the restaurant shared a snap of the pair and stated: “Thank you for coming to our restaurant. It was a pleasure to serve you! We hope to see you again soon!” The menu includes hot and cold starters, plus wood fire grilled mains. The dishes include Black Onyx Tenderloin, Chicken Diablo and Wagyu Rib Eye.
GO: Follow @lemaschou_sa on Instagram for more information.
Ronaldo clearly has friends in high places. When he was seen dining out in Riyadh, he was accompanied by Saudi Arabia’s Sports Minister, Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal. The pair visited Diriyah and we imagine he got a crash course in the kingdom’s history: the district is famous for being the original capital of Saudi Arabia, and was once the seat of power for the Al Saud family. Plus, Ronaldo was spotted at Diriyah’s pop-up restaurant, Shababik. Don’t worry, there is a permanent location in Ana Mall, Jeddah.
GO: Follow @shababikksa on Instagram for more information.
If there’s anywhere that you’re most likely to rub shoulders with Ronaldo, it would be at Tatel Riyadh in Bujairi Terrace. The footballer has invested in the concept, and promoted it on his own social media. Tatel is known for serving Spanish haute cuisine. The concept draws its inspiration from America’s prohibition era in the 1920s. Tatel Riyadh’s menu covers starters, salads, rice, pasta, fish, meat and chicken dishes. The desserts include the signature Tate World Famous Cheesecake, which is one of the best we’ve ever had.
GO: Visit https://tatelrestaurants.com for more information.
VOX Cinemas in Via Riyadh
Lights, camera, Via Riyadh’s cinemas. The new luxury destination boasts celebrity chefs, world-famous fashion brands, a five-star hotel and state-of-the-art cinemas – seven screens, no less. Visit the screens inspired by a secret garden, Tuwaiq’s mountain range and the Orient Express. If you want to do Riyadh like Ronaldo, catch a movie in the family-friendly Oasis Screen, which features sofas, beds and a ball pit, so you can enjoy the Dolby Atmos and Onyx screen in style.
GO: Visit www.viariyadh.com for more information.
While Riyadh Season’s Winter Wonderland is seasonal – the clue is in the name – it is popular among locals and it seems footballers. Both Ronaldo and his partner shared images on Instagram of the rides and games. Ronaldo stated: “Quality time with my loves”. The site is home to 80 rides, from classic carousels and Ferris Wheels to thrilling rollercoasters.
GO: Visit https://ticketmx.riyadhseason.sa for more information.