In the ski resort of Saudi Arabia’s £400 billion megacity in the DESERT with huge outdoor slopes and artificial snow
SAUDI Arabia is a country more associated with sand than snow – but the desert kingdom has big plans to become a leading winter sports hub.
In the years to come, the resort of Trojena could become one of the world’s top ski resorts alongside places like Val d’Isere, Verbier and Zermatt if these incredible images are to be believed.
Trojena will host the 2029 Asian Winter Games and work has already begun to transform the barren region into a futuristic resort.
The project is part of Saudi Arabia’s $500 billion (£400 billion) NEOM project, the centerpiece of which is a 75-mile lateral skyscraper called The Line.
The project is the brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and work on the incredible structure has also begun.
Trojena will be built in the Sarawat Mountains about 30 miles east of the Red Sea coast, an area that is on average 10°C cooler than the rest of the region.
It will come complete with an artificial freshwater lake and nature reserve, as well as outdoor ski slopes.
Temperatures in the area often fall below zero in winter and it is one of the few areas in the desert kingdom where there is snow.
But there have already been questions about whether there will be enough natural snow to support winter sports activities.
A chic promotional video shows skiers on their way from the desert to the mountains. in the northwestern region of Tabuk in Saudi Arabia.
While the footage could show falling snowflakes and pristine white slopes, Neom CEO Jan Paterson reportedly admitted that “up to 70 percent” of it will be artificial.
Fraser Wilkin, a snow expert, believes the amount of snow will be “meaningless”.
There could be “the odd shower or storm in the winter,” but there will be “bright blue skies for whole months at the end,” he said.
The goal is to have the resort complete by 2026, when it will welcome some of the 700,000 visitors it hopes to attract each year.
They will be accommodated in apartments, chalets and mansions, as well as hotels, according to the project’s website.
“Trojena is becoming one of the most dazzling travel destinations in NEOM and around the world,” says NEOM.
Questions have also been raised over claims that the resort will be sustainable.
The construction of Trojena would require “blowing up large parts of the landscape” to create an artificial lake in the center of the resort, reports Bloomberg.
Making snow and ice will also consume enormous resources, says Dr. Madeline Orr, Founder and Co-Director of the Sport Ecology Group at Loughborough University.
“Undoubtedly, the energy and water resources required for ski facilities and ice rinks will be extraordinary,” she said.
“I’ll be watching how they pull it off, but I have serious concerns about any claims that this event will be sustainable.”
Meanwhile, construction on the 110-mile project The Line has already begun, according to drone footage released late last year.
Footage released by Saudi Arabian drone operators OT Sky and respected architecture magazine Dezeen shows the groundwork for the massive structure.
Countless trucks and earthmoving machines rumble across the site as they begin work.
The project also includes plans for a floating megacity called OXAGON off the Red Sea coast, which would be built around water-filled plazas connected by canals.
But human rights activists have urged Western companies to boycott the development because Saudi Arabia has an appalling human rights record.
Three tribesmen were sentenced to death last year for refusing to leave their homes to make way for the construction site.
The Howeitat trio had protested against their forcible expulsion from the northern province of Tabuk.
Abdul Rahim al-Howeitat, a prominent critic of the exorbitant Neom development, accused the officials of “state terrorism.”
https://www.the-sun.com/news/7255195/inside-saudi-arabia-desert-ski-resort-megacity/ In the ski resort of Saudi Arabia’s £400 billion megacity in the DESERT with huge outdoor slopes and artificial snow