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TROJENA: A global destination for mountain tourism in Saudi Arabia’s NEOM

Saudi Arabia to support the tourism sector through an international fund

In the latest bit of positive news for the Saudi tourism sector, His Royal Highness Mohammed bin Salman, Crown Prince and Chairman of the NEOM Board of Directors, announced the establishment of TROJENA, the new global destination for mountain tourism. The launch of the new mountain tourism destination comes as part of NEOM’s plan and strategy to contribute to supporting and developing the tourism sector in the region.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that 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, which is aligned with the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

HRH added that “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.”

This comes following the announcement of the world’s most important key giga-projects, NEOM in 2017 by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as part of Vision 2030, Saudi Arabia’s efforts to diversify away from its oil-based economy. The crown jewel of NEOM is ‘The LINE’ city which will be the world’s first city that has no cars and no streets where residents can walk anywhere.

NEOM CEO Nadhmi Al-Nasr commented: “TROJENA represents NEOM’s values and bold plans as a land where nature and innovative technologies come together to form a unique global experience. This new development is a major contribution to achieving NEOM’s long-term ambitions by adhering to the principles of sustainability and utilizing state-of-the-art technology and engineering, across various disciplines, to make NEOM an all-round and attractive world-class destination.”

According to the official press release, TROJENA features a unique and innovative architecture, unlike any other in the world, where the captivating landscapes of NEOM mountains coexist in harmony with the tourist sites developed within them, offering a new and unprecedented tourism experience that reflects the future of living, working and entertainment in NEOM.

Furthermore, outdoor skiing is a unique feature of TROJENA that will provide a unique experience never before witnessed in the region, especially in Gulf countries known for their desert climates. 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.

The new year-round tourist destination will consist of a series of facilities such as the ski village, ultra-luxury family and wellness resorts, a wide range of retail stores and restaurants, in addition to sports activities, including a ski slope, watersports and mountain biking, as well as an interactive nature reserve. The project is set for completion by 2026.

To enrich the lives and enhance the well-being of residents and visitors, the development, in accordance with international standards, will feature sports, art, music, cultural festivals and a range of recreational activities. TROJENA expects to attract 700,000 visitors and 7,000 permanent residents to live in TROJENA and its adjacent residential districts by 2030. 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.

Catalyst for economic growth

TROJENA will act as a major catalyst for economic growth and diversification in Saudi Arabia. In line with Vision 2030’s goals, it will create more than 10,000 jobs and add SAR 3 billion to the Kingdom’s GDP by 2030. 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.

TROJENA works to provide a different and unique tourism model, combining economic and community development, and environmental sustainability – a model which develops tourist destinations in accordance with principles and practices of sustainable tourism. Highlights of the development include the all-year ski village; a stunning man-made freshwater lake; ‘The Bow’ Hotel, an architectural masterpiece that will offer an unrivalled hotel experience; and the Vault, a vertical village within the mountain with a fusion of technology, entertainment and hospitality facilities that will provide the main gateway into TROJENA. The development will also include the ‘Slope Residences,’ which will be located near the ski slope overlooking the lake, designed to blend in with the surrounding landscape, as well as luxurious mansions with panoramic views designed to reflect the beauty of the environment.

TROJENA will be made up of six districts: Gateway, Discover, Valley, Explore, Relax and Fun, all of which are designed to offer activities catering to a variety of tastes and needs. It will be developed according to architectural specifications that consider environmental sustainability, preservation of all living organisms and nature. The region is characterized by clean air, beautiful landscapes and climatic diversity, where temperatures 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 in the center of NEOM, 50 kilometers from the Gulf of Aqaba coast, in a region characterized by a mountain range with the highest peaks in Saudi Arabia at approximately 2,600 meters above sea level. TROJENA aims to change current perceptions of visitors and residents about the services that can be provided by mountain resorts, through its exceptional design, advanced architecture and technology that integrates reality with the virtual world.

In 2022, NEOM will announce more projects with different ideas, but all will be aligned in their respect for the environment and achieving balance, because NEOM’s ambitious vision seeks to shape the future in which living and working are integrated in a sustainable way.

Work underway in NEOM

In November 2021, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has started construction work on its eco-friendly futuristic desert city “The Line.” Once completed, the city will be free of cars and roads and be powered by 100% clean energy, with residents expected to move in as early as 2024.

HRH Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman first announced plans for The Line, a 170km (105-mile) long series of urban areas along a central ‘spine,’ back in January in a televised address.

Currently, work has started, with bulldozers and diggers working day and night moving earth and tunneling through mountains to install the linear city’s three layers: a surface region for pedestrians, plus two subterranean layers for transport and infrastructure.

In January 2021, the Saudi Crown Prince and Chairman of the NEOM revealed the 170km belt of hyper-connected future communities, without cars and roads and built around nature.

He described it as an answer to some of the most pressing challenges facing humanity today such as legacy infrastructure, pollution, traffic, and human congestion.

The city is expected to create 380,000 jobs, adding SAR 180 billion ($48 billion) to the kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) by 2030.

His Royal Highness said: “Throughout history, cities were built to protect their citizens. After the Industrial Revolution, cities prioritized machines, cars and factories over people. In cities that are viewed as the world’s most advanced, people spend years of their lives commuting. By 2050, commute durations will double. By 2050, one billion people will have to relocate due to rising CO2 emissions and sea levels. 90% of people breathe polluted air. Why should we sacrifice nature for the sake of development? Why should seven million people die every year because of pollution? Why should we lose one million people every year due to traffic accidents? And why should we accept wasting years of our lives commuting?”

“Therefore, we need to transform the concept of a conventional city into that of a futuristic one,” His Royal Highness added. “Today, as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of NEOM, I present to you THE LINE. A city of a million residents with a length of 170 km that preserves 95% of nature within NEOM, with zero cars, zero streets and zero carbon emissions.”

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