The 2029 Asian Winter Games will be held in Saudi Arabia after it won a bid, making the Kingdom the first country in western Asia to host the games. The event, which will see participation from more than 32 countries, is scheduled to take place at Trojena, a planned resort located on Saudi’s highest mountain range in the US $500 billion smart city of Neom.
Saudi Arabia submitted its bid to host the games to the Olympic Council of Asia in August. After receiving a letter of interest, the decision was taken by the council in Cambodia this week. “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 TROJENA2029 as the first country in west Asia,” Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki wrote on Twitter.
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When completed in 2026, Trojena will be the Gulf’s first outdoor ski resort, aiming to be the ultimate destination for skiers and winter sports lovers, and will be powered by renewable energy. According to Neom chief executive Nadhmi Al-Nasr, the resort “will have a suitable infrastructure to create the winter atmosphere in the heart of the desert.” While natural snow will come by in the cooler months, artificial snow will also be used at the resort, alongside other amenities including a man-made freshwater lake, and a nature reserve.
Trojena also forms part of Saudi’s Vision 2030 for economic diversification, and a number of tourism projects that were announced by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier this year.