(Motorsports news) The deserts of NEOM, Saudi Arabia's giga-project featuring cognitive cities and a premier visitor destination and inspirational location for all adventure sports is set to host the 2nd season opener of Extreme E.
Saudi Arabia is working on world-leading investment in sustainable technologies and protecting its unique natural resources. Vision 2030 aims to reduce the dependence on fossil fuels and includes a deployment plan of renewable energies, particularly solar and wind. The opportunity to host Extreme E, where male and female drivers use electric SUVs, supports NEOM's vision of building a high-performance ecosystem to attract the world’s best events and athletes, while using sport to drive sustainability and diversity, leaving a major impact.
NEOM aims to become a global adventure sports hub using sports tech and innovation, increasing the region's adventure sports landscape with a strong eye on sustainability. The sport infrastructure in NEOM will include all varieties of sports, from grassroots to high performance. In addition, NEOM's sport ambitions include environmental conservation in line with the project's plans to preserve 95% of its natural environment.
HRH Prince Khalid Bin Sultan Al-Abdullah Al- Faisal, Chairman of the Saudi Automobile and Motorcycle federation and the Saudi Motorsports Company, said: “The return of Extreme E to the Kingdom for the second year in a row further helps emphasize Saudi Arabia’s commitment to a more sustainable future. Welcoming this revolutionary series to Neom aligns with one of the most important goals and pillars of Vision 2030 as well as the personal aspirations of HRH the Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman, to make the Kingdom a leading country in the development and promotion of alternative energy sources and the preservation of the environment for future generations.”
“This next instalment of the Extreme E race is further proof of the Kingdom’s transformation into a powerhouse for motorsport in the region, the event taking place shortly after the conclusion of another successful Dakar Rally at the start of this year further underlines this. Additionally, we have just hosted our inaugural F1 Grand Prix on the newest, longest, and fastest street circuit in the world. We now look forward with great excitement to continuing this run of successes with the return of Extreme E next month.”
Nadhmi Al-Nasr, NEOM’s CEO, said: “NEOM has made no secret of its desire to promote sustainability and raise awareness around some of the world's most pressing challenges, such as climate change and nature conservation. We feel hosting an innovative racing event such as Extreme E in a region dedicated to pioneering clean technology and mobility solutions perfectly manifests our goals. In keeping with our approach to encouraging talent development and diversity, we are delighted to welcome the drivers, both male and female, the Extreme E team, and leading experts to NEOM. Sport is an important sector for NEOM and will be key in creating a new form of livability and driving economic growth. In particular, adventure sport offerings will be a major contributor to the visitor economy.”
Alejandro Agag, CEO and Founder of Extreme E, said: “Taking the championship to NEOM for our desert location will be an exciting moment, as NEOM's long-term plans are very much in keeping with the ethos of Extreme E – it is attempting to do something that's never been done before and comes at a time when the world needs fresh thinking and new solutions.”
An area of 26,500-square-kilometres in northwest Saudi Arabia, NEOM has been made from the ground up, setting examples for new models of urban sustainability, powered by 100% renewable energy. NEOM's wind and solar energy profiles provide an ideal environment for developing renewable energy projects, utilising green technology in building water capabilities and maximising usage efficiency. Clean energy and clean water in NEOM are driving components for the world’s most ambitious project, leading the next wave of energy transition, with plans underway for large-scale production of green hydrogen (H2) at competitive costs.
NEOM is on its way to become a launchpad for adventure sports that are sustainable and fully adaptive while also educating audiences on environmental awareness.
Agag went on to say: “As we saw in our first-ever championship race, the Kingdom's terrain is stunning and unforgiving. The desertscape promises to be intense, and it will be an unprecedented challenge for our competitors to explore in a new desert terrain with warmer racing conditions."
NEOM's geographical location in northwest Saudi Arabia has diverse terrains including long beaches, valleys, and deserts as well as cool winds from the Red Sea. Its terrains include 468 kilometres of coastline, magnificent islands, and scenic, snow capped mountains that reach more than 2,500 metres.