Saudi Arabia has said it has won a bid to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at a planned mountain resort in the Gulf Arab state’s $500 billion flagship Neom project.
The Trojena development is expected to be completed in 2026 and will offer outdoor skiing, a man-made freshwater lake and a nature reserve, according to the project’s website.
Surrounded by the Sarawat mountains, temperatures are cooler in the region and it aims to be a year-round destination for winter sports.
Neom chief executive Nadhmi Al-Nasr said the venue "will have a suitable infrastructure to create the winter atmosphere in the heart of the desert".
There will be natural snow on the mountains but some artificial snow will also be used.
“With the unlimited support by the Saudi leadership & HRH Crown Prince to the sport sector we are proud to announce we have won the bid to host AWG TROJENA2029 as the first country in west Asia,” the Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki al-Faisal said on Twitter.
Nadhmi al-Nasr, the Neom chief executive, said: “Trojena will have a suitable infrastructure to create the winter atmosphere in the heart of the desert, to make this Winter Games an unprecedented global event.”
Neom is Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s most ambitious project under the kingdom’s Vision 2030 development plan to reduce reliance on oil and transform the economy, including by developing sports.
Neom, a 26,500 sq km (10,230 sq miles) high-tech development on the Red Sea, will include zero-carbon city “The Line” as well as industrial and logistics areas.