President Barack Obama's trip to Saudi Arabia in March of 2014 will be beneficial to Americans in general. The Middle East needs to see that America is still paying attention to the region. Obama's trip can only bolster our relations with nations in that region as Syria is still in the midst of a civil war and Iran seems to be warming up to international pressure to give up its nuclear ambitions.
There are some Arabs who will change their perceptions of the United States because the US president with the Arabic middle name will visit with them. However, the fundamentalists and extremists in this volatile region are not working on logic or on good feelings but have views they do not intend to change.
Perception does not change between countries and people without proper communication. This includes are ability to work with countries in the middle east. Obama visiting can become a strong ambassador for the country and allow for a different point of view. This attempt won't solve everything but it can be a start.
Granted, Obama is the President and face of the country. It still will not change their perception of the country, even if they like what Obama has to say. They know he is just one man and that congress has a lot of people in it who do not agree with what he is saying. They can still learn a thing or two though.
Arab perceptions of the US will not be changed by Obama's visits to the Middle East. This is because their perceptions about us have been held for a long time. Each President has the capacity to change how other people view us, but Obama has been in office too long to change that now.