Urban waterfront and beach set for Dubai

The latest ambitious project to take place in Dubai in the run-up to Expo 2020 is the creation of the largest man-made lagoon in the world.

Drawing on its design ability to create a waterfront leisure experience anywhere across the globe Crystal Lagoons works alongside the hospitality sectors, residential developments and leisure facilities – and a major focus is the UAE for its waterside leisure projects.

Middle East regional director Carlos Salas praised the “ambition and vision of Dubai” as he outlined the project.

“We can transform any destination into an idyllic beach paradise as is the case of the lagoon at Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One. This project is being developed by Crystal Lagoons and Meydan Sobha, a joint venture between Meydan Group and Sobha Group responsible for developing 45 million square feet of prime freehold land in the heart of Dubai; just 4km from Downtown Dubai.”

The 7km Crystal Lagoon within the District One development will create a man-made beachfront in the heart of the city with lush green landscaping and a 14km boardwalk. It is the first of its kind in the UAE and when finished will be the largest in the world, at 40 hectares.

It will offer exclusive access to swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking and other non-motorised aquatic activities.

A 1.43-hectare pilot lagoon is already in operation and features a show home community of nine houses for a taster of the overall master planned development. Phase one of the lagoon project, which will cover around eight hectares, is soon to be finished with the second phase of nine hectares completed by the end of 2017.

The project is eco-friendly, and has been developed and designed to use any type of water, consuming very low amounts of energy and chemicals.

Salas said: “Our unique technology allows us to operate at a very low cost from both a construction and maintenance perspective, anywhere in the world.

“Our lagoons use up to 100 times less chemicals than conventional swimming pools and consume up to 2% of the energy needed by conventional filtration systems. Crystal Lagoons’ technology also requires very low water consumption, because the crystal clear lagoons are designed to operate on a closed circuit, and only need to compensate for water loss caused by evaporation.

“The lagoons consume just 50% of the water of a park of the same size and uses up to 30 times less fresh water than a golf course. Additionally, by using Crystal Lagoons evaporation control film technology, water consumption is reduced even further. The knock-on effects to the environment at a local and global level are phenomenal.”

The company said this project is the beginning of a great concept in GCC countries, where now beach projects can be developed in previously unimaginable areas, away from the coast.

Salas said:“Crystal Lagoons is bringing the ocean closer to the people and changing forever the real estate paradigm of ‘location, location, location’. All of our projects have had a positive impact by increasing project density, sales price, and sales velocity.

“When launching any real estate lagoon-project it has achieved historical figures, in both interest and actual unit sales. This way, the value per square meter exponentially increases, and in many cases the rate of sales of real estate projects speeds up to above 70%.”

Crystal Lagoons is an international company with 15 offices around the world.

The concept started when scientist and real-estate developer Fernando Fischmann created an innovative tourist and real-estate project called San Alfonso del Mar, in Chile.

This was sited on the west coast of South America, where the icy and rough ocean was not apt for swimming.

To solve this problem, Fischmann dreamed of creating a large, crystal clear water lagoon that would provide its visitors with swimming options and the possibility of practicing water sports, in a safe, clean, turquoise coloured environment.

Fischmann, a bio-chemist by profession, conducted research and experimented for years until he developed this technology.

San Alfonso del Mar was the first project in the world that implemented this innovative technology, and it was quickly “put on the map” as the most successful second home development in South America.

It far exceeded the competition’s sales, was able to sell surrounding land at higher prices, and all at a pace never seen before.

The company say Crystal Lagoons technology created “a viable and successful project that previously had been simply unthinkable and impossible”.

The initial development was originally planned for 400 units, however after the introduction of Crystal Lagoons technology the project was so immensely successful a total of 1,400 additional apartments were added.

The concept and technology gained international recognition when the eight hectare, one-kilometer-long lagoon of pristine, crystal clear water was awarded the Guinness World Record for being “The World’s Largest Man-made Lagoon”.

The technology was patented in 160 countries and Fischmann founded the company Crystal Lagoons with a goal to license this innovative approach to design in different real-estate developments, public applications and through industrial applications, all around the world. The technology is now set to make a major impact in the UAE as the project in Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum City – District One gets underway.