Trojena : The mountains of NEOM in Saudi Arabia

In this article, you will find how the idea of the project was created, the plan to bring more investments and tourists to NEOM, the kingdom’s idea of hosting the 2029 Winter Asian Games in Trojena, and the current stage of the ski resort.

What is Trojena, a ski resort in the heart of Saudi Arabia’s desert? 

The excitement around the $500 billion mega project that is set to redesign Saudi Arabia’s tourism hub is undeniable, and the remarks made by Philip Gullett, Trojena’s Executive Director, are a clear example of it. 

“The legacy is going to be a great place where people want to be.” 
Author / source

But how could it be different if we are talking about an entire megacity that will run on renewable energy and will reportedly be 33 times bigger than New York City? 

In 2022, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, announced Trojena, describing the project as something that “will redefine mountain tourism for the world by creating a place based on the principles of ecotourism, aligned with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.” 

“Trojena will be an important addition to tourism in the region, a unique example of how Saudi Arabia is creating destinations based on its geographical and environmental diversity,”
MBS said. 

Now, Gullett and his team have the mission to create a futuristic ski resort located in the NEOM mountains, with an ideal place for winter and adventurous sports enthusiasts, world-class hotels, and luxury residences aimed at attracting tourists as well as residents of the new region.

To add more challenges to an already difficult plan, the unprecedented resort will be built at one of the highest peaks in Saudi Arabia, reaching about 2,600 meters in altitude, which is considered the perfect location to be the house of summer hiking or winter skiing lovers, as Trojena plans to feature 30 kilometers of ski slopes. 

Let’s take a deep look into it.

What are the main characteristics and challenges behind Trojena ? 

If I’m not wrong, I believe the next topic is easily one of the first things that might come to someone’s mind when talking about a ski resort in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. 

Does it snow in Saudi Arabia ? 

Surprisingly, the answer to this question is: yes, it does snow in Saudi Arabia. 

Despite the fact that it is located in one of the hottest regions on the planet, snowflakes can be seen at the kingdom during its winter season, around the months of December and January. 

However, the amount of snow that covers the land of the country is definitely not enough to cover one of its highest mountains and to build its futuristic project. And, this leads us to a very simple follow-up question. 

If the amount of snow is not enough, what will they do to cover the mountains of NEOM ? 

In order to compensate for the lack of snow in the region, Trojena engineers will reportedly use a combination of real and artificial snowflakes to create a perfect environment for alpine sports throughout the whole year. 

Additionally, the city is located where average temperatures around the year remain around 10 degrees Celsius lower than other cities in Saudi Arabia, which also helps the creation of the ski resort. 

How will Trojena impact the country’s economy ? 

Behind every mega project, an economic gain is expected and in the case of Trojena is no different.

According to an official statement released by NEOM following the announcement of the futuristic ski resort, Trojena is set to create over 10,000 jobs, attract 700,000 annual visitors, and add SAR 3 billion to the kingdom’s GDP, mentioning that the project will act as “a major catalyst” for economic growth and diversification in Saudi Arabia. 

“NEOM’s latest development is vital to achieve what Saudi Arabia has envisioned for the future of the Kingdom by unlocking new sectors, building a vibrant society full of innovation and promoting economic prosperity,” the official statement claims.

How is sustainability one of the main goals of Trojena ? 

Sustainability is one of the key words used behind the whole concept of NEOM and it also lies at the heart of Trojena. 

The importance of renewable energy in the project 

According to its creators, Trojena will be powered entirely by renewable energy, keeping its commitment to local nature’s preservation. 

In the same official statement, NEOM affirmed that the futuristic ski resort will be developed according to architectural specifications that consider environmental sustainability, the preservation of all living organisms, and nature. 

“All construction activity will adhere to NEOM’s strict environmental principles, which include a commitment to minimize disruption to the local ecology and to ensure long-term sustainability,” it says. 

The Ski Village and The Vault 

It is also reported that an all-year Ski Village will be part of Trojena, which will consist of an area that integrates residential buildings, such as houses and hotels, dining options, and retail outlets. 

In addition to Ski Village, a vertical village called The Vault will also be created in Trojena, where visitors and residents will be free to shop, eat, and also enjoy the area’s nightlife. 

In addition to it, the area will be made up of six districts: Gateway, Discover, Valley, Explore, Relax and Fun, where residents and visitors will head to each destination based on their moods and desired activities. 

A man-made lake 

One of the most exciting features of Trojena is definitely the creation of a freshwater lake with a Water Village located on the edge of it, where residents and visitors will be able to practice their favorite water sports and also enjoy entertainment activities.

Trojena’s impact on the kingdom’s tourism sector 

As mentioned before, Trojena will be a major addition to tourism in the region and will bring many investments to the kingdom. Here is why. 

Winter sports will not be the only kind of physical activity in the mountains 

As a 30-kilometer ski slope is one of the main characteristics of the project, many tend to think that Trojena’s only focus is winter sports and its lovers. 

However, its visitors and residents will be able to enjoy outdoor and sports activities throughout the year, including yoga retreats and other fitness events from September to November and other adventurous sports, such as mountain biking and climbing, from March to May. 

“That creates a new pinnacle. There are great resorts around the world, but they don’t offer the range of experiences, sports, climate, nature and design on an extraordinary scale that we have here. It will be without comparison,” Gullett declared during an interview. 

Saudi Arabia is set to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games in Trojena 

In 2022, Saudi Arabia obtained the right to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at Trojena, which could be considered a huge win for the kingdom regarding its ambitious project. 

Sports events are definitely a good way to bring visitors to your country. For example, over 1.4 million people from across the globe flocked to Qatar during the FIFA World Cup 2022, which was described as the most profitable tournament in the organization’s history. 

With the arrival of the Asian Winter Games in 2029, the kingdom is set to receive tens of thousands of tourists from across the globe to witness the sports tournament and put more money into its plan to boost the kingdom’s GDP. 

Why is it a good idea for real estate businesses to invest in Trojena? 

As time goes by, companies inside the hospitality industry have already finalized their first steps and established partnerships as part of Trojena’s project, and little by little more competitors arrive to take their preferred seat at the kingdom’s ambitious project.

Several world-renowned hotel chains are coming to Trojena Not only tourists and adventurous sports lovers are paying attention to Trojena. 

As the project develops and many express their interest in visiting the futuristic area, the hospitality industry is already making its first steps in Tabuk province. 

Trojena has already established its first hotel partnerships even before its launch, as world-renowned brands such as The Chedi and Ennismore Group are already part of the project and will be receiving tourists interested in discovering the area. 

“The mountains of Trojena are set to become one of the most awe-inspiring destinations the world over. Both 25hours Hotels and Morgans Originals are ideal brands for Trojena as we look to deliver extraordinary experiences for residents and visitors seeking luxury, adventure, entertainment, livability, and escape from the status quo,” wrote Gullett for the official announcement of the partnership. 

The ski resort will offer a sustainable and pleasant lifestyle to its residents 

As mentioned previously in our latest article talking about The Line, a huge part of today’s population seeks a more sustainable and flexible lifestyle where they don’t need to spend at least an hour inside a metro to get back to their residences. 

Apart from being powered only by sustainable energy, Trojena will be well connected to other regions and cities in NEOM, which will provide a much more pleasant experience to its 7,000 permanent residents, a number expected by the project’s creators, who will be able to enjoy their free time at the ski resort and other places nearby in a much more rapid way than in the world’s biggest centers. 

“We will have environmentally sustainable energy-powered vehicles running on roads and a funicular that brings people to the destination as well. It’ll be whatever is the most up-to-date transport system that we can use and that goes to NEOM’s approach to advance transport systems, which minimize journey times,” Gullett said. 

Cultural events will also take place in Trojena 

Previously, we mentioned how sports lovers are likely to have a good time at Trojena, as it has the ability to host all-year-round events and will be the host of the 2029 Asian Winter Games. 

However, whoever does not feel part of the sports world can also feel comfortable at the ski resort, as it will also be the home of several cultural events, including music festivals, art exhibitions, fashion shows, and culinary fairs. 

Watching your favorite artists at an ecological and futuristic ski resort would not be a good idea, would it?

How is the project going ? 

According to local media reports, a total of 1.6 million cubic meters of material from the lake site in Trojena have been successfully excavated. 

It is also reported that Trojena’s infrastructure development contract was awarded to a joint venture between Saudi Arabian company Al-Ayuni Investments & Contracting and Turkish Limak Holding last week. 

The scope of the contract reportedly covers excavation works at the site, a mountain destination 50 kilometers from Saudi Arabia’s Gulf of Aqaba Coast, and the construction of a tunnel as well as a freight depot. 

In the beginning of October, Saudi-based Nesma Infrastructure & Technology reportedly won the contracts to design, build, and commission two transmission substations along with corresponding overhead transmission lines and connections to the grid for Trojena. 

The project of the futuristic ski resort is set to be completed by 2026, according to its creators.

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