Crystal Lagoons, the multinational innovation company and developer of patented technology that makes giant crystalline lagoons a reality, has tallied up its current activity in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) projects, revealing a presence in real estate developments worth a staggering US$20 billion.
“We have developed our patented technology and proven business model to provide the world’s top amenity and in the process add significant value to any real estate project in the world. Our sustainable technology and green credentials, makes pristine water lagoons possible at a very low cost, our ultrasonic filtration system means we use up to 50 times less energy than conventional filtration systems ensuring we have the lowest levels of energy and water consumption when compared to any other amenity,” said Carlos Salas, Middle East Regional Director, Crystal Lagoons.
“These USPs have been instrumental in allowing us to take our technology all over the world. What’s more, we are able to deliver a viable, affordable long-term solution to our partners in the Middle East, North Africa and India despite climate and geographical challenges, particularly when you consider we use brackish water from underground aquifers, water that has no other use,” added Salas.
Three high profile GCC projects are currently under development, including the 160-hectare Mayasem mixed-use development, located north of Jeddah, which will feature a new 7.5-hectare lagoon as its leisure centrepiece.
In Dubai, the Mohammed Bin Rashid City District One mixed-use development, a joint venture between Meydan Group and Sobha Developers Ltd., situated close to the Meydan Racecourse, will feature a 40-hectare lagoon with a further eight hectares to be added to the existing 1.43-hectare pilot lagoon this year. The completion date is 2020.
And, in Oman, the Alargan Towell Investment Company is developing the 50-hectare Barka Resort integrated tourism complex project. Located 50 kilometers west of central Muscat, the four-hectare lagoon will form the centrepiece of the project and will be surrounded by three hotels, serviced apartments, a mixed-use souk, commercial areas and a collection of villas, townhouses and apartments. The first phase of the project is scheduled to be completed by 2017.
North Africa has also been a prime location for lagoon development in recent years and, despite the current economic and security challenges facing the region, remains a key destination for Crystal Lagoons. The unique technology used by Crystal Lagoons underscores the company’s ability to construct and develop mass bodies of water anywhere in the world, and therefore bringing waterfront living to the middle of the desert.
“Egypt’s expanding north coast is proving particularly attractive to investors for whom the ability to engage in water-based leisure pursuits is a prerequisite for any second home purchase. We are working with Maxim Real Estate on what will be our biggest project in the region to date, with the US$1.8 billion, 10 million-square-metre Bo Islands development set to offer lagoons covering a total of 32 hectares within the mixed-use community,” said Salas.
An impressive 17.5 kilometres of powder-white sand beachfront complemented by an impressive 32 hectares of pristine water lagoons, which will be home to a host of unique water-based activities, will be included in phase one. The initial phase, which is equal to 10% of the total area, will cost an estimated US$455 million and is expected to be completed in Q1 2018.
Other companies utilising Crystal Lagoons’ technology to create traditional beachside living include Hassan Allam properties, one of Egypt’s leading luxury residential developers, with the construction of the US$200 million Swanlake North Coast project, and the Porto Group-developed Porto Lagoons, a new phase that is part of the US$345 million, 150-hectare mixed-use Porto Golf Marina community.
Demand to create an idyllic oasis setting in the desert has been highlighted with three Red Sea projects including its latest announcement, the two-hectare El Gouna community development as well as the world’s current largest crystalline lagoon at the US$500 million Citystars Sharm El Sheikh development and a second Sharm project, the 2.7-hectare Radamis Lagoon, which will be at the heart of a 2,500-room, three-hotel mixed-use development.
Further underscoring Crystal Lagoons popularity in the region is the US$250 million development in the country’s Sokhna mountain range. The development will bring six stunning lagoons spanning a total area of four hectares plus three kilometres of sandy beaches.
“We also entered the emerging India market in 2015 with the announcement of a 6.5-hectare lagoon for the US$2 billion D S Kulkarni Developers’ Dream City project in Pune, Maharashtra state, with Dubai-based Samir Dauod as the principal architect. Not only will this lagoon become a hub for water-based leisure activities, but it will also provide a means of transport with a water taxi service,” said Salas.
Additionally, Crystal Lagoons’ has developed a new technology to deal with humanity’s biggest problem, potable fresh water shortage that affects over a billion people worldwide, with desalination that uses no energy. With this purpose, the multinational company plans to set up pilot plants in several locations around the world. The project’s experimental design ratified the viability and enormous potential for this innovation that uses warm water that industrial facilities and power plants throw to the sea.
The company holds two Guinness World Records with successful locations at San Alfonso del Mar, Chile and Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, which is currently the world’s largest lagoon at 12.2 hectares. The company is also in the process of developing new desalinisation technology which will further add to Crystal Lagoons’ sustainable credentials.