Naturally, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is spending billions on a desert ski resort. The Trojena building is the newest piece of architecture in the country. It is in the Neom megacity, a futuristic city in the Sararwat mountains about 2,600 meters above sea level. Travelers can expect to arrive at a destination that is said to be 33 times larger than New York City once construction is finished in 2026. There you go, New Yorkers!
For the Crown Prince, “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 quality of life in the community,” reads a statement.
It will be a great example of how Saudi Arabia is trying to use the country’s many natural and cultural assets to bring in more tourists.
Let’s just say that the Crown Prince is no stranger to breaking rules, for the benefit of those who may not be familiar with his past endeavors. He has already begun undertaking large-scale endeavors, such as constructing a 170-km straight-line city and an eight-sided city that floats on water. Oh, and in his spare time, he led a massive coup against the professional golf industry. Already, these initiatives have established Saudi Arabia as a center of innovation, among other things, and Trojena promises to carry on this tradition.
This new development will feature a wellness resort, an interactive nature reserve, and outdoor skiing all year long. The Vault, a vertically folded village, will be Trojena’s crowning achievement because of its potential to “connect the physical and digital worlds.” Neom’s website claims that the artificially carved village will feature “bespoke experiences where reality and imagination are combined,” but provides few details.
“In a way, it’s similar in concept to The Line,” said Philip Gullett, the executive director of Trojena, a company based in the United Kingdom. “It’s concentrating that vertical village or city in one place, minimizing the land take — and maximizing walkability.”
A manmade lake, spanning three kilometers and full of fresh water, will be a focal point of the tourist attraction, adding an air of naturalism to the area.
A press release states that by 2030, Trojena plans to have welcomed 700,000 tourists and 7,000 permanent residents. A total of 3 billion riyals (about $800 million) and 10,000 new jobs are projected to be created as a result of the project, which is a huge boon to the Saudi economy. The Middle Eastern country bolstered its credibility by announcing that it would host the 2029 Asian Winter Games.
Even though the plans have been praised by many, some architects have spoken out against Trojena. For a long time, we listened to the people who said things like, “you can’t build a futuristic folded-vertical village.” Just look at us now,” one builder joked.
Another person joked, “Oh man, Nintendo is going to sue you so hard for ripping off Rainbow Road,” comparing the creased metropolis to the well-known Mario Kart course.
Is Neom no longer a straight line? An architect’s degree holder expressed surprise at the transformation of Neom since his youth.
In 2021, the Wall Street Journal reported that Neom was losing employees because its projects were so grandiose and massive. This issue was brought to the attention of the crown prince by city planners who proposed a more streamlined strategy for achieving a carbon-neutral city. The Saudi leader allegedly responded, “I want to build my pyramids.”