Saudi Arabia is awarded the right to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at a £440bn futuristic megacity in the DESERT… despite the venue not being expected to be built until 2026, as the Arab state continues to increase its involvement in sport
- Saudi Arabia is set to host the 2029 Asian Winter game at a futuristic megacity
- They will take place in Trojena, a planned mountain resort with the Neom project
- The Arab state are attempting to develop sport in the nation to reduce the economy’s reliance on oil
- Several other sporting events have taken place in the Kingdom over recent years
Saudi Arabia is set to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at a £440billion futuristic megacity in the desert.
The games are set to take place in Trojena, Neom city, which is a planned mountain resort and is expected to be built by 2026.
The Arab state’s bid for the games, which encompasses 47 different events, was ‘unanimously approved’ by the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA).
Trojena is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Neom project under the Saudi Kingdom’s Vision 2030 development plan, which is aimed at reducing the nation’s reliance on oil and tranforming their economy, including by developing sport in the nation.
The future tourist resort will include the Gulf’s first-ever outdoor ski resort, a man-made freshwater lake, a nature reserve, and is expected to be powered by renewable energy.
In the region of Trojena, temperatures are much lower than elsewhere in Saudi Arabia with the Neom project’s website noting: ‘Winter temperatures drop below zero celsius and year-round temperatures are generally ten degrees cooler than the rest of the region.’
It has been described as ‘the future of mountain living’ by Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal.
After the decision to award the games to the Arab state was confirmed, the OCA said: ‘The deserts and mountains of Saudi Arabia will soon be a playground for winter sports.’
Saudi Arabia has been awarded the rights to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games in Trojena
Trojena is a planned mountain resort in the desert that is expected to be built by 2026
In the region of Trojena, temperatures are much lower than elsewhere in Saudi Arabia
Trojena is part of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Neom project under the Saudi Kingdom’s Vision 2030 development plan, which aims to reduce the nation’s reliance on oil
The Asian Winter Games include events for skiing, snowboarding, ice hockey and figure skating with 47 events in total, which includes 28 on snow and ten on ice.
There will be natural snow on the mountains but some artificial snow will also be used.
Commenting on the decision, the aforementioned sports minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al-Faisal, wrote on Twitter: ‘With the unlimited support by the Saudi leadership and HRH Crown Prince to the sport sector we are proud to announce we have won the bid to host AWG [Asian Winter Games] TROJENA2029 as the first country in west Asia.’
The future tourist destination will include the Gulf’s first-ever outdoor ski resort
Neom chief executive Nadhmi Al-Nasr added that the venue ‘will have a suitable infrastructure to create the winter atmosphere in the heart of the desert’.
The games will be the latest event hosted by Saudi Arabia as they aim to increase their involvement within sport.
The Arab nation has faced significant criticism that the country is sportswashing by using high-profile sporting events to improve its worldwide image and divert attention away from its human-rights record.
Anthony Joshua’s fight with Oleksandr Usyk took place in Saudi Arabia earlier this year
In August, Anthony Joshua fought Oleksandr Usyk in the city of Jeddah, while the divisive LIV Golf league is funded by Saudi Arabia.
They also host a Formula One grand prix on the annual calendar, while the Spanish Super Cup has been held in the country.
Perhaps most notably, the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia holds an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle United, while the Kingdom is also planning a joint bid for the 2030 football World Cup with Greece and Egypt.
The Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund also hold an 80 per cent stake in Newcastle United