Event to be held at TROJENA sports city as kingdom becomes first country in the Middle East to be awarded the games - despite being in a desert and not being in Asia.
Saudi Arabia said on Tuesday it had been chosen to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at a planned mountain resort in the kingdom's $500bn NEOM project. NEOM's yet-to-be-built TROJENA sports city was the only candidate for the 2029 Asian Winter Games, which have not been held since 2017 as the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) has struggled to find hosts. Saudi Arabia will be the first country in the Middle East to host the games, which first took place in Japan in 1986.
"With the unlimited support by the Saudi leadership & HRH Crown Prince (Mohammed Bin Salman) to the sport sector we are proud to announce we have won the bid to host AWG TROJENA2029 as the first country in west Asia," Sports Minister Prince Abdulaziz Bin Turki Al Faisal said.
Skiing is not new to the Middle East. Lebanon is home to Mzaar and Faraya ski resorts, which have traditionally been magnets for wealthy Gulf vacationers. Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE all boast indoor ski resorts, but TROJENA would be the first outdoor facility.