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  • Steve Halor

NEOM showcases hosting international sporting events in Extreme E

NEOM, the futuristic city in Saudi Arabia, has seized a remarkable chance to demonstrate its prowess in hosting prominent global sporting events through its association with Extreme E, the renowned electric off-road racing series.

In a thrilling display of skill and speed, the highly anticipated second edition of the Desert X-Prix took place in NEOM over the weekend. This prestigious event brought together 20 world-class drivers hailing from ten teams, some of whom are former world champions. Against the breathtaking backdrop of the NEOM region, these skilled competitors battled it out for victory in the Extreme E race.

In a stunning display of athleticism, the race unfolded against the picturesque backdrop of the Red Sea coastline. The event, held in close proximity to the highly anticipated 2022 NEOM Beach Games, attracted a remarkable turnout of over 300 skilled athletes hailing from 25 different nations. In a display of exceptional skill and determination, Kevin Hansen and Molly Taylor from Veloce Racing emerged triumphant in the inaugural race on Saturday, expertly maneuvering through the demanding terrain of the course. Meanwhile, Mattias Ekström and Laia Sanz of Sainz XE Team claimed the coveted first place in Sunday's second race, showcasing their remarkable abilities on the track.

NEOM's aspiration to establish itself as a pioneering hub for global sports is bolstered by its role as the host of international sporting spectacles such as Extreme E. In addition to showcasing world-class drivers, Extreme E distinguishes itself by adopting a restorative approach to event management. In a bid to shed light on the pressing challenges posed by climate change, the series strategically selects race venues that are under imminent threat. By doing so, it seeks to not only bring attention to the issues plaguing each region but also leave behind a lasting, positive impact.

NEOM, the ambitious mega-city project in Saudi Arabia, boasts an ongoing rewilding program aimed at revitalizing the ecosystem of its region. This commendable initiative focuses on nurturing the existing species and reintroducing those that have long been absent from the local landscape. In preparation for the highly anticipated Desert X-Prix, the NEOM Nature Region team has undertaken a remarkable initiative by reintroducing Arabian sand gazelles and Arabian oryx back into their native environments. This program, aimed at restoring the natural balance of the region, showcases the team's commitment to preserving the delicate ecosystem of the NEOM Nature Region.

In a statement, Jan Paterson, the Managing Director of NEOM Sport, expressed their enthusiasm for hosting the prestigious Extreme E event for the second consecutive year. Paterson highlighted that this opportunity serves as a testament to NEOM's unwavering dedication to promoting sustainable sport. NEOM, the groundbreaking city of the future, is set to host an exhilarating competition that will showcase the skills of the world's finest drivers and teams. With its unparalleled landscape, NEOM provides a one-of-a-kind backdrop for this highly anticipated event. The organizers are brimming with excitement as they prepare to welcome these exceptional talents to their remarkable venue.

In a recent statement, Alejandro Agag, the esteemed CEO and founder of Extreme E, expressed his utmost satisfaction with the choice of NEOM as the ideal location to kick off the season. Agag emphasized that the selection of NEOM as the inaugural venue could not have been more fitting. The teams and drivers experienced an exhilarating adventure, navigating through awe-inspiring terrain. The recently concluded Desert X-Prix showcased yet another remarkable triumph, leaving racing enthusiasts eagerly anticipating the forthcoming events of the season and its return next year.

NEOM's endorsement of Extreme E stems from a mutual conviction that technology serves as the fundamental cornerstone for a sustainable future. Extreme E forms an integral component of NEOM's grand vision to construct a cutting-edge ecosystem that entices top-tier events and athletes from across the globe. By leveraging the power of sports, this ambitious endeavor aims to champion sustainability and diversity while simultaneously fostering constructive social influence.

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