Puerto Rican pop star Ricky Martin has been spotted exploring Qatar’s cultural side this week after visiting the Museum of Islamic Art.
The singer, famous for his 1999 song Livin’ la vida loca, posted photos of himself wearing a thobe outside the MIA on his Instagram and Facebook accounts yesterday, with the short caption “time for #art.”
An MIA representative told Doha News that Martin visited the museum in a personal capacity, not an official one, “and so we wanted him to enjoy his visit.”
Despite his apparent attempt to blend in, his trip did not go unrecognized and he was seen talking to and taking selfies with fans and other visitors.
Martin was also spotted at Katara Cultural Village, eating at Lebanese-Armenian restaurant Mamig:
Martin has more than 9 million Facebook followers world-wide, and his MIA visit photo drew more than 90,000 likes on the social platform, as well as 85,000 likes on Instagram.
Some commenters zeroed in on the fact that Martin, a high-profile, openly gay figure who speaks publicly in support of equal rights, visited a country where homosexual acts between adult males or adult females are illegal.
Martin, who became famous as a child for being part of boy band Menudo, has recently ended his year-long “One World Tour.”
— Christto&Andrew (@Christto_Andrew) November 5, 2015
He has also been a judge on the TV talent show La Banda, which searches for the next big Latino boy band.
His latest album, A Quien Quiera Escuchar (To Those Who Want to Listen), is up for Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album while his single Disparo al Corazon has been nominated for record and song of the year at the Latin Grammy Awards later this month.
Doha has drawn a number of stars recently, with US First Lady Michelle Obama making her first official visit this week to speak at an education conference and visit American troops at the Al Udeid Air base.
She was supposed to leave on Wednesday to head to Jordan, but that trip was scrapped and her stay here extended by two days due to sandstorms and bad weather, according to the White House.
Described as “extremely disappointed,” Obama is instead set to head back to Washington, DC today, Al Arabiya quoted an official traveling with her as saying.
— Qatar Museums (@Qatar_Museums) November 3, 2015
Obama arrived in Qatar on Nov. 2 and the following day, also visited the MIA.
Separately, another high-profile American is set to visit Qatar this weekend.
Hollywood actor and producer Robert De Niro, who has starred in more than 90 films, will also be in town as he visits Nobu restaurant with chef Nobuyuki Matsuhisa tomorrow.
De Niro co-founded the international restaurant chain with Matsuhisa. Doha’s outpost, which opened earlier this year, is the biggest in the world.
Who have you spotted around town? Thoughts?