A year-round ski village is being established in Saudi Arabia as part of ambitious plans to create a new global destination for mountain tourism.
Outdoor skiing will be a “unique feature” of the Trojena initiative, never before witnessed in the region, “especially in Gulf countries known for their desert climates”.
A statement issued on behalf of crown prince Mohammed bin Salman said the project is set for completion by 2026. It is part of a futuristic $500 billion destination development in the north-west of the country called Neom.
However, it said: “Amateurs and professionals alike will be able to enjoy the many ski runs of various difficulties with an array of contrasting and breathtaking views.
“The blue waters of the Red Sea, beauty of the Neom mountain ranges and the golden desert sand dunes will provide skiers a first-of-its-kind experience that combines these diverse environments with fun-filled and adventurous moments.”
Man made snow will be created alongside natural snowfall, according to a spokesperson.
Temperatures in the area drop below zero in winter, while the average temperature throughout the year remains 10 degrees Celsius lower than other cities across the region.
Trojena is situated 50 kilometers from the Gulf of Aqaba coast, including a mountain range with the highest peaks in Saudi Arabia at approximately 2,600 meters above sea level.
Besides the ski village, other facilities being planned include a ski slope, ultra-luxury family and wellness resorts, shops and restaurants, watersports and mountain biking, as well as a nature reserve.
It expects to attract 700,000 visitors and 7,000 permanent residents by 2030.
The crown prince said: “Trojena will redefine mountain tourism for the world by creating a place based on the principles of ecotourism, highlighting our efforts to preserve nature and enhance the community’s quality of life.
“It also confirms our commitment to be part of the global effort to protect the environment. 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.
“This forward-looking vision will ensure that mountain tourism will be another revenue stream to support the Kingdom’s economic diversification while still preserving its natural resources for future generations.”