Saudi Arabia is all set to welcome the 2029 Asian Winter Games for the first time ever in one of the most popular megacities projects, “Neom,” with a value of US$500 billion. You would be amazed to know that this billion-dollar city, which is currently under construction, is located in a desert, and it was reported by the South China Morning Post on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia will transform the desert into a snowy landscape as per the requirements of the games. Hence, this would make Neom the first ever West Asian city to witness this glorious event. This is amazing, isn’t it?
Not to mention, Saudi Arabia was chosen as a host country by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) and, regarding this decision, it stated, “The deserts and mountains of Saudi Arabia will soon be a playground for winter sports.” However, the games will specifically be conducted in an area known as “Trojena” in the desert, and talking further about the specifications of this place in terms of the games, the project’s website stated, “where winter temperatures drop below 32 Fahrenheit (zero Celsius) and year-round temperatures are generally 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the region.”
Coupled with this, it should be noted that Trojena falls within one of the ten regions of Neom, but the thing which concerns the authorities is the lack of rainfall it receives, which might ultimately become a cause of problems for the games. Furthermore, the project will be completed by 2026 as per the projections being laid by the authorities and will encompass different facilities like “year-round skiing, chalets, mansions, luxury hotels, and, most impressively, a man-made freshwater lake.”
In addition to this, Muhammad Bin Salman, who is the Crown prince of the Kingdom and is also currently serving as the chairperson of Neom’s board, stated, “It will redefine mountain tourism for the world by creating a place based on the principles of eco-tourism, highlighting our efforts to preserve nature and enhance the community’s quality of life.” Also, the architectural mindset behind the project promotes the manufacturing of natural reserves that foster the concept of sustainability and supporting infrastructure.
In view of this, Philip Gullett, who is Trojena’s executive director, said, “You cut a new road through that environment and you’ll never repair it.” To that end, this is going to be an exciting event and there seems a growing interest from people all across the world in it as well.