Egypt to have world’s largest crystal lagoon

Egypt is to surpass Chile in having the world’s largest navigable crystalline lagoon as part of a new real estate development in Sharm El Sheikh.

One of 10 lagoons planned for the project, the 12 hectare pool will set a new world record for man made lagoons on Egypt’s Red Sea coast. Creators of the lagoon, Crystal Lagoons, have announced that the project as a whole will cover more than 100 hectares, with the first lagoon inaugurated early 2011.

Fernando Fischmann, the company’s owner and founder, said: “The project is the result of our association with Golden Pyramids Plaza, owned by the Sharbatly family. He added: “We have also sealed strategic alliances for a number of other tourism developments including the Amer Group’s Soma Bay, in Hurghada, a US$1.2 billion investment that will be operational in 2012.”

Already supplying and installing lagoons to the US$1.2 billion Dubai Lagoons project in Donwtown Dubai, the firm relies on patented ‘crystalline lagoon technology’ to develop its pools, which involves extraction of water from the ocean before its recirculation – apparently extremely energy efficient compared with conventional pool systems.

Close to completing the first stage of the Dubai Lagoons project, Crystal Lagoons will construct, maintain and provide technical support for a pilot lagoon by the end of the year, before taking responsibility for all the development’s water features.

Among the firm’s 50 ongoing and planned developments throughout the Middle East, are projects in Pakistan, Oman and Morocco, as well as a total of 12 projects in Egypt in places like Cairo and resorts near to Alexandria. In addition, the company has a project in Jordan called “Dead Sea Lagoon”, located near the Dead Sea coast, due to be completed halfway through 2011. A final project is set to be incorporated alongside the world’s next tallest building in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, whilst proposals are also being discussed for developments in Abu Dhabi.

Fischmann said: “In all of these projects, Crystal Lagoons provides something that until now was neither technical nor economically possible – the construction and low cost maintenance of monumental masses of water in a crystalline state that allows a beach life environment and top level aquatic sports within a city.” He added: “These crystal clear lagoons form an impressive artificial paradise, even in the most inhospitable climates.” He said: “Technically it is a very challenging process and a unique concept adaptable to rain forests, marshes, deserts or urban sprawls. They can also be created on overcrowded or eroded coastlines and breathe new life into previously contaminated rivers.”

The company plans to unveil more details about its future projects at Cityscape Global, at the Dubai World Trade Centre on 4-7 October this year.

Source: Elizabeth Broomhall, Arabian Business 25.09.2010


Dr ASHRAF ISMAIL is the Chairman of AIG Holding | UK & Middle East

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