NEOM, Saudi Arabia’s flagship business and tourism development on the Red Sea, has unveiled plans for a new mega sporting event – NEOM Beach Games 2022 – which will see global athletes from 25 countries compete in an array of sporting challenges.
The six-week competition – which will kick off on October 19 and feature five sports including kitesurfing, triathlon, 3×3 basketball, beach soccer and mountain biking – is the latest international extreme sporting event to be staged in the mega-city.
“We are delighted to host the NEOM Beach Games which bring together local and international rights holders for five globally popular sports in one diverse location in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” NEOM’s CEO Nadhmi al-Nasr said in a statement. “NEOM is a place of unparalleled natural beauty and will be the ideal backdrop for what promises to be a period of exciting competition amongst world-class athletes competing in a variety of challenging sports.”
The sport event will commence with world cup kitesurfing over the first five days, closely followed by Olympic level competition of short course triathlon on October 29.
Other events to be held include an international 3×3 basketball tournament and a four-day beach soccer competition that will see 12 teams from around the world compete in the intense tournament.
In total, NEOM will host over 25 nations over these four sports.
The NEOM Beach Games 2022 will then conclude on December 9 with the desert mountain biking race which will host 220 male and female riders from around the world for a four-stage event, varying 80 – 120 kilometers per stage.
Jan Paterson, managing director of sport at NEOM, added, “We are excited to be hosting world class events in NEOM as we aim to develop a sporting hub which will contribute to our evolving sport ecosystem. Partnering with key sporting bodies will strengthen our goals of building a high-performance culture and inspire the next generation of athletes across the region.”
Once completed, the $500 billion NEOM development will include smart towns and cities, ports and enterprise areas, research centers, sports and entertainment venues and tourist centers.
The development will be spread across 26,500 square kilometers and will comprise several zones, including industrial and logistics areas. It is planned for completion in 2025.
The plans include a network of airports, including an international one.