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ENTERTAINMENTSaudi Arabia is building a ski resort in the desert

Saudi Arabia is building a ski resort in the desert

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Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny
Gaston de Persigny - Reporter at The European Times News

The resort will host skiers for three months of the year, and during the established time tourists will be able to practice water sports and mountain biking

As part of Saudi Arabia’s impressive project to build the city of Neom – the “city of the future” – a ski resort worth 461 billion euros will also be built. The new project is located in Tabuk province. The winter resort will be called Troyena and will be a mixture of dizzying real and virtual architecture, an artificial lake and mesmerizing views.

The idea of skiing the slopes of Neom in Saudi Arabia sounds absurd – yet Clark Williams, who manages marketing and communications for Neom, tells Euronews Travel that it’s easier than you think.

People are like, wait a minute, does it snow in Saudi Arabia?” Williams says. “The truth is we only need -3 degrees Celsius to create snow in Neom and we can do that for three months of the year.”

In the mountains near Neom, the temperature naturally drops below 0 degrees in winter.

“In our snowmaking, we’re going to use as many sustainable resources as possible, whether that’s solar or wind,” explains Williams. “We will also use water from our desalination plant, which is a cutting-edge solution, and we will try to collect as much water as possible from melting snow.”

Wonderland

In addition to a skiing experience, the resort will also offer the opportunity to practice all kinds of water sports thanks to an artificial lake that will be built. Other sports options include cycling.

Troena promises everything that tourists could find in a normal mountain village.

The concept behind the ski village is to take what you would see in a classic mountain village and put it in one building,” says Williams.

This includes restaurants and even a luxury wellness spa for those who need a break from the track.

The ski resort will include several hotels that will immediately be able to receive visitors when the centre opens in late 2026 or early 2027.

“That’s pretty soon when you consider that we’re creating a whole new landscape there, with streets, bars, restaurants and hotels all rolled into one village.”

The “City of the Future” project

Troena is only one of the four main parts of Neom. As part of the grandiose “city of the future” project is the creation of the luxury island of Sindala in the Red Sea – the first destination to open in 2024. The creation of a futuristic, floating industrial metropolis is also planned, as well as a 170-kilometre city, which will eventually accommodate up to 9 million residents.

“Neom is one of the mega projects that were announced as part of the Saudi crown prince’s vision for 2030,” said Niall Gibbons, Neom’s head of tourism. “It is the size of Belgium and will welcome approximately 3.5 million tourists by 2030.”

Neom will initially focus on domestic tourism and later expand to international visitors, with 60 per cent of people coming from outside Saudi Arabia by 2030, according to Gibbons.

Illustrative Photo by Volker Meyer: https://www.pexels.com/photo/person-in-yellow-jacket-and-red-riding-on-snow-ski-3714137/

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