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OCA awards 2029 Asian Winter Games hosting rights to Saudi Arabia

OCA awards 2029 Asian Winter Games hosting rights to Saudi Arabia
October 4, 2022

Saudi Arabia is to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at its Trojena mountain resort development in its NEOM city project.

Awarded at this week’s 41st General Assembly of the Olympic Council of Asia in the Cambodian capital of Phomh Phen, this will be the first edition of the Asian Winter Games to take place in a West Asian city.

Set to open in 2026, Trojena is a planned resort in the under-construction US$500 billion city of Neom, dubbed the ‘land of the future’ by Saudi Arabian authorities.

The successful bid was presented by Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal, the Saudi Minister of Sport and President of the Saudi Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Commenting on the award, Prince Abdulaziz stated “this is a great victory for the Saudi nation and Gulf countries. It is due to the generous support offered to the Saudi sports sector that significantly contributes to the progress of sport and all other fields in the Kingdom for the purpose of delivering the objectives of the Saudi 2030 vision.

“We thank the Olympic Council of Asia for granting us this opportunity. Trojena will be a year-round destination for winter sports and it is fully funded and backed by government guarantees. It will highlight the enormous potential and great infrastructure of Saudi Arabia to host and organise international-level sport competitions and Games successfully.”

NEOM, part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 project, which is steering the Kingdom away from its reliance on oil, is a 26,500  development on the Red Sea coast.

Earlier this year, NEOM also revealed more details about The Line, a zero-carbon city with “vertically layered” buildings for work, living and leisure.

Other giga-projects being developed under the Vision 2030 plan include Qiddiya, which aims to become Saudi Arabia’s major entertainment destination, and the Red Sea Project, a luxury tourism experience.

The Trojena development, which will feature outdoor skiing facilities alongside a man-made freshwater lake and a nature reserve, is expected to be completed in 2026.

It will be powered by renewable energy, with 14 luxury hotels to encircle the sports venues.

The 2029 Games will feature two competition clusters. A snow cluster will house sports such as alpine skiing, snowboard and slalom, while an ice cluster will be used for ice hockey, figure skating and curling.

A total of 47 sports will be contested at the Games.

The Asian Winter Games have not been held since 2017 and Trojena was the only candidate to host the 2029 event.

Image shows the concept for skiing at Trojena. Credit Neom.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-founder/Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-founder and Publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

In 2020, he launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

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