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Saudi Arabia to host 2029 Asian Winter Games

Olympic Council of Asia

Indonesia National Olympic Committee president Rita Subowo waves the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) flag during the official handover to Indonesia during the closing ceremony of the 2014 Asian Games at The Incheon Asiad Main Stadium in Incheon on October 4, 2014. Indonesia will host the 2018 Asian Games. AFP PHOTO / MARTIN BUREAU (Photo credit should read MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

Saudi Arabia will host the Asian Winter Games in 2029 in mountains near the $500 billion futuristic city project Neom.

The Olympic Council of Asia on Tuesday picked the Saudi candidacy that centers on Trojena that is planned to be a year-round ski resort by 2026.

“The deserts & mountains of Saudi Arabia will soon be a playground for Winter sports!” the OCA said in a statement announcing its decision.

Saudi sports minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Turki Al-Faisal said the kingdom’s winter sports project “challenges perception” in a presentation of the plan to OCA members.

“Trojena is the future of mountain living,” the minister said of a region described as an area of about 60 square kilometers at altitude ranging from 1,500 to 2,600 meters.

The Neom megaproject is being fund by the Saudi sovereign wealth vehicle, the Public Investment Fund.

Saudi Arabia also will host the Asian Games in 2034 in Riyadh as part of aggressive moves to build a sports hosting portfolio and help diversify the economy from reliance on oil.

A campaign to host soccer’s 2030 World Cup is expected with an unprecedented three-continent bid including Egypt and Greece.

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