‘People can’t do enough for you’ - Newcastle United fans open up first Saudi Arabia experience
NewcastleWorld spoke to four Newcastle United supporters - born in the United Kingdom - who visited Saudi Arabia, Riyadh, for the first time to follow the club’s mid-season tour. Read their experiences below, or watch the video attached.
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Neil Mitchell - Newcastle United fan living in Dubai
“I’ve been delighted. I keep hearing having lived in the region that Saudi Arabia was changing and I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
“The city is growing, they’re building a metro system like Dubai’s metro and you can see this city is about to get bigger quickly.
“That comes with growth, it comes with the wealth of the region and it’s mind blowing to think Newcastle United is part of that strategy, but we are.”
Adam Pearson - Newcastle United and Youtuber
“It’s actually the first time I’ve left Europe to come to Riyadh. Everyone is really friendly.
“Before the trip, I had quite a few people from Saudi Arabia messaging me to offer a taxi lifts, money and all sorts of things. It’s crazy how friendly people are over here.
“It’s been good so far, I’ve enjoyed my time. It’s huge. I was expecting it to be a big place with it being the captial of Saudi but it’s so big. I’m shocked at how massive it is.”
Joe Moore - Newcastle United fan aka @TalkOfTyneside
“It’s been amazing really, the people can’t do enough for you.
“Walking round in Newcastle shirts, people are stopping us for photos, want to talk to us about Newcastle, football and the World Cup.
“You read all about it before you get here and I wanted to come here for myself and experience it for myself.
“It’s been such a positive experience being here. I can’t speak highly enough of it.”
Mark Allison - Newcastle United fan aka @RunGeordieRun
“The fundamental experience with Saudi so far is the friendliness of the people. It’s not friendliness for friendliness sake, it feels very genuine and authentic.
“They’re so pleased to see us in black and white shirts and have been so welcoming off the back of that. Other than that, you can’t really look past that, that’s the thing you need to reinforce. It’s just been absolutely brilliant.
“I speak as I find, I’ve ran all around the world. I remember going into Ukraine in 2018 not knowing quite what to expect but it’s one of the friendliness places I’ve been too.
“Put everything and speak as you find, and certainly that’s what I’ve done.”