Much has been said in recent years about Neom, the futuristic city that will be built in Saudi Arabia. In Xataka we have analyzed throughout several articles such as East, East either East each of the eccentricities planned for this utopian city in the middle of the desert. Now, however, another piece of news has Neom on everyone’s lips: he has won the bid to host the Asian Winter Games. And of course, it is surreal that a city has been chosen that, at the moment, does not even exist.
Neom was largely the brainchild of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and let us remember that the region where it is built can reach 38’C in the summer and has no access to fresh water. However, the Saudi government is clear: it plans that millions of people will live there in the future, thanks to the desalination plants and the air conditioning. In fact, on their website they advertise it as the city that “with a luminous dawn, a promising future and a rich life in a land built by man for the good of all humanity”.
Specifically, the 2029 Asian Winter Games will be held in a 60 square kilometer ski and outdoor complex that is scheduled to be completed in 2026 as part of Neom. Trojena, which is how it has been called, will have airportsan industrial center, houses, hotels and fields for transgenic crops.
The resort, which will offer skiing all year round, is being built about 50 kilometers from the Gulf of Aqaba coast, in a mountainous area with elevations from 1,500 meters to 2,600 meters and will be the first place in the country where it will be possible outdoor skiing. Next to the town there will be an artificial freshwater lake. In total, the development will have more than 3,600 hotel rooms and 2,200 homes.
All of this winter sports superbuilding will be connected to The Line megacity, which is emerging as another important element of Neom’s development. Unveiled earlier this year, The Line will be a 500-meter-tall mirror-clad skyscraper that is being designed to accommodate nine million people. Although after its introduction, numerous urban design experts expressed skepticism about this somewhat utopian vision and the sustainability claims surrounding it.
The question now is: Can you really ski in the desert? Yes. Despite the fact that Saudi Arabia is a desert country and its temperatures are usually very high, there is a mountainous area near the Red Sea and, touching Jordan, around the Jebel al Lawz peak (2,580 meters), it sometimes snows in winter. The plan is to install a huge pipeline that will carry desalinated water from the Red Sea to that mountainous area and serve to supply the giant lake and create artificial snow when needed.
However, as several experts have commented, construction is quite late and some reports suggest that only a few buildings have started construction, and many of the plans are unrealistic ahead of the deadline. We will have to wait a few years to see if erecting this colossal set of buildings is possible or not. The photos of how it would look, however, take your breath away.