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Saudi desert megacity to host Asian Winter Games

A futuristic megacity in Saudi Arabia will feature two massive, mirror-encased skyscrapers that extend over 170 kilometres of desert and mountain terrain
— Riyadh (AFP)

Saudi Arabia was chosen Tuesday to host the 2029 Asian Winter Games at an under-construction $500 billion futuristic desert megacity that planners say will feature a year-round winter sports complex.

"The deserts and mountains of Saudi Arabia will soon be a playground for winter sports," the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said in a statement on the decision made during its general assembly meeting in Phnom Penh.

The Saudi bid was "unanimously approved", the statement said, noting that the megacity known as NEOM will be the first West Asian city to host the event.

First announced in 2017, NEOM has consistently raised eyebrows for proposed flourishes like flying taxis and robot maids, even as architects and economists have questioned its feasibility.

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