Trojena ski resort by NEOM: where mountain sports and outdoor adventure will be offered all year round
JEDDAH: Nestled among the mountain peaks overlooking NEOM, the new smart city taking shape in northwestern Saudi Arabia, the world’s first futuristic and sustainable ski resort promises to transform the Kingdom into a major regional tourist destination.
Last month, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman unveiled plans for Trojena, the Gulf region’s first-ever outdoor ski resort, which, unlike the European Alps, can be reached by almost 40% of the population. world in four hours.
The site, which will host sporting events, art exhibitions, concerts and cultural festivals, is expected to attract 700,000 visitors and 7,000 permanent residents by 2030. Planners say the project is expected to be completed by 2026 .
Surrounded by the pristine ranges of the Sarawat Mountains, reaching 2,400 meters above sea level, Trojena is set to become one of NEOM’s best tourist offerings, consisting of a ski village, ultra-luxury family and wellness resorts , the region’s largest freshwater lake, an interactive nature reserve, and a range of dining and retail options.
Trojena’s vision is to integrate nature and technology to meet the interests and needs of modern travellers. “It will provide a seamless travel experience that can eliminate traditional pain points in travel,” Philip Gullett, executive director of Trojena, told Arab News.
“We plan to deliver luggage via drones, use biometrics to meet security requirements, and allow interested parties to explore the site first using the latest virtual reality.”
NEOM, the $500 billion project wholly owned by the Saudi Public Investment Fund, is located on the northwest Red Sea coast of the Kingdom. The region’s diverse terrain and dramatic topography make it an ideal location for outdoor adventure tourism.
Visitors will soon be able to enjoy a wide range of activities, from scuba diving and skiing to hiking and climbing, all in the same day thanks to the high-speed public transport network provided by The Line.
Trojena consists of six distinct neighborhoods, all centered around bespoke experiences. It will host a wellness season from September to November with plans for a yoga retreat, arts residency, entertainment residency and a focus on overall health.
Located just 50 kilometers east of the Red Sea coast, Trojena is on average 10 degrees Celsius cooler than the rest of the region, providing a temperate climate for outdoor sports all year round. .
From December to March, it will host a series of winter season events, including sports, a film festival, concerts and even a fashion week.
Then, between March and May, Trojena will offer an adventure season, hosting a triathlon, paragliding, mountain biking and more, followed by a lake season focusing on water sports.
Following NEOM’s lead, Trojena will be powered entirely by renewable energy sources and use sustainable materials. “This includes implementing lifelong decarbonization goals,” Gullet said.
“These strategies will focus on heating and cooling systems, insulation and building materials, performance-based building energy codes that address operational and embodied carbon, and measures that improve building resilience.
“One of the centerpieces of the energy grid will be a hydroelectric system integrated into the lake system, and it will also be used as energy storage to help offset the energy needed for development.”
The planners say they have taken a sustainable approach to building the site, adhering to strict NEOM environmental principles and protecting the region’s cultural heritage.
“NEOM is acutely aware of the need to protect the region and that’s why sustainability is so central to this project from the start,” Gullet said.
“The master plan has been developed with specific consideration for the natural terrain and the significant and sensitive environments within it.
“We will place assets and supporting infrastructure in a light, dispersed program to specifically protect the natural features of this region. This is an opportunity to demonstrate how human development and the environment can coexist in a more sustainable future.
“The preservation of NEOM’s authentic culture and heritage will be supported by the integration of technology. For sites such as The Vault, reliance on energy systems for heating and cooling will be reduced as it will be built partially underground.
“The naturally stable temperatures below ground will act to passively moderate the microclimate and help reduce any need to disturb the natural landscape.”
Indeed, NEOM actively promotes the use of recycled equipment, zero waste practices and local product sourcing to reduce the project’s carbon footprint.
In addition to environmental sustainability, Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 reform program has made the health and general well-being of the public a top priority, laying out plans for more outdoor and green spaces, sports facilities and restaurants offering nutritious meals.
In fact, one of NEOM’s key performance indicators is to ensure that 70% of its residents can participate in sports for more than 150 minutes per week.
“The Relax Cluster in Trojena will offer a place of healing for body and mind, housing high-tech facilities and medical spas with bespoke treatments, in addition to a wellness and personal improvement center outdoors with innovative technologies,” said Gullet.
“We will offer world-class treatments for individual health and well-being provided by the best doctors and therapists around the world.”
One of Trojena’s star attractions will be its world-class observatory. Thanks to clear skies and high altitude, the site will offer exceptional views of the night sky and will house a super telescope, integrated educational technologies, observation modules and the NEOM space park.
“We want to make sure these assets become world-famous in the stargazing community,” Gullet said.
“This region has a long history with space and the development of the space industry is progressing. The next few years will be exciting. »