Trojena: Saudi Arabia to build a ski resort as part of its NEOM project

Elevations in the area range from 4,900 to 8,500 feet.
Ameya Paleja
NEOM's Trojena.
NEOM's Trojena.

NEOM 

Saudi Arabia's ambitious project to build The Line, a city of the future, is not a stand-alone project. The Line is one of the many components of a larger project called the NEOM, which also features the unique destination of Trojena, where the first outdoor ski resort in the Gulf will be located.

NEOM, a combination of the Greek word Neo, meaning new, and the first letter M from the Arabic word for the future, mustaqbal, is the brainchild of The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman.

Part of Vision 2030 for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the project aims for a new way of thinking that will take the oil-producing country away from its hydrocarbon-dependent economy to a new way of life powered by renewable energies. Details have now emerged about Trojena, a unique year-round mountain destination.

The outdoor ski resort

Located 31 miles (50 km) off the Gulf of Aqaba coast, Trojena will span an area of 540 square miles (1,400 square kilometers) of the mountainous in the north of the country. With the elevations in the region ranging from 4,900 feet (1,500 m) to 8,500 feet (2,600 m), the temperatures in certain parts of the mountain range fall below zero degrees Celsius in the winter.

The team at NEOM wants to tap into this natural event to build an outdoor ski resort in the region and even host the Asian Winter Games in 2029 if the country can submit a winning bid.

According to a press release from Betchel, the project management company which was recently appointed management consultants for this endeavor, only 22 square miles (57 sq. km) area will be used for the main development.

To make it a round-the-year destination, the project will feature six distinctive development districts - Gateway, Discover, Valley, Explore, Relax, and Fun- all in their natural landscapes to offer human-centric experiences. The destination will be equipped to host a wide range of events ranging from sporting events to art exhibitions, concerts as well as cultural festivals.

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Five million visitors by 2030

The construction work on the ski village is scheduled to begin this year and features a public plaza and residential components around it, a press release from NEOM said. The Saudi Vision 2030 goals also aim for a world-class tourism sector to be developed in this location that can cater to over five million visitors by the end of the decade.

To this effect, the NEOM project is looking to offer high-end retail and dining experiences and has attracted some top brands to build the necessary infrastructure in a place that is a blank canvas.

Hospitality brands keen to work at this location plan to offer a hotel experience with an eight-story vertical core, each offering a different microclimate and art experience. Other amenities expected in this space are a cinema hall, a farm-to-table restaurant as well as a rooftop restaurant with a pool.

Interesting Engineering has previously reported on The Line, the linear city being built from the western to the eastern borders of the country, which also has plans for some ground-breaking civil engineering.