Saudi Arabia aims to create a futuristic sports powerhouse out of its megacity project NEOM — which has been said to be four times the size of Dubai, Beirut, Cairo, and Amman combined. 

The 26,500-square-kilometer megacity is being built northwest of the kingdom, alongside the borders of Egypt and Jordan. From the looks of it, it seems to have already attracted sports enthusiasts from around the world.

Earlier this week, NEOM hosted one of its first officially-endorsed sports events — a Wakeboard championship organized by the city's officials and the International Waterski & Wakeboard Federation (IWWF). 

From who participated in the four-day sports tournament to what this means for the future of the megacity, here's all you need to know: 

1. The event aimed to promote NEOM as a "capital for elite sports"

In a statement to press, Lojain Alharbi, the sports analyst for NEOM, explained that such events are key to the promotion of NEOM as both a "healthy living hub" and a "global capital for elite sports." 

"These kinds of events are very important for us to showcase the beauty of NEOM and the potential that NEOM has in the sports sector," the 25-year-old woman said.

"We want Neom to be a launchpad for extreme adventure sports, a healthy living hub, a global capital for elite sports." 

Several other world-class events are scheduled to take place in the megacity. They are currently in their pre-production stages.

2. FIFA endorsed a "Beach Soccer Cup" during the four-day sports event

Though the event's focus was wakeboarding, several other sports tournaments took place. One such tournament was endorsed by none other than FIFA. The "Beach Soccer Cup" saw teams from the UAE, Oman, Saudi, China, Egypt, and England compete against each other. 

"Beach Rugby" matches also took place as well as a "Beach Tennis" event which saw both male and female competitors participate. 

3. The event hosted teams from all around the world

The most recent event saw athletes from 16 countries fly into Saudi Arabia's NEOM to take part in the tournaments — including people from China, Egypt, Oman and the UK. 

4. The recent beach games are the 2nd major NEOM event since April

The recent beach sports event is considered to be the second major event to be held in NEOM. 

In April, a successful Wing Suit & Climbing Challenge took place in the area. The event "showcased NEOM's incredible mountains to over 300 million people in 105 countries around the globe." World class athletes including bouldering champion - Juliane Wurm - and Saudi female rock-climbing star - Yasmin Gahtani - took part in the event at the time. 

5. The recent event was not gender-segregated

The futuristic city of NEOM will not apply gender-segregation rules in its public spaces. Both men and women took part in the recent events and were able to communicate with each other within the megacity's parameters. 

The first sports event that took place in the megacity back in April was also free of gender-segregation.

Outside NEOM, Saudi Arabia applies strict gender-segregation laws in public spaces including schools and universities. 

NEOM is a Saudi megacity is the making

Launched by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in 2017, NEOM is a megacity that will operate independently from the kingdom's "existing governmental framework." 

The project is set to focus on nine industries including, energy and water, mobility, biotech, food, technological and digital sciences, advanced manufacturing, media, and entertainment.

Now, officials behind the project have also added sports to the list and are adamant on making NEOM a center for world tournaments. 

The city is set to be run on wind and solar power, allowing it to be powered solely by regenerative energy. Though the project will need years to be completed, people are already enjoying what it has to offer on the sports front.