Crystal Lagoons to target Oman’s growing tourism sector
January 9, 2018 | 5:37 PM
by Times News Service
Carlos Salas. - Supplied picture

Muscat: Crystal Lagoons has identified Oman’s burgeoning hospitality and tourism market which, according to the World Travel and Tourism Council, is expected to see investment of upwards of $1.7billion by 2026, as a key area for expansion in the Middle East.

The cutting-edge technology has already proven to be a major success in the GCC, particularly in Oman, where Alargan Towell Investment Company has started work on a 50-hectare multi-million-dollar, mixed-use development. Crystal Lagoons will build a 40-hectare lagoon as part of the project, the centrepiece to three hotels, serviced apartments, a mixed-use souk and a host of other amenities, said a company release.

Crystal Lagoons have also signed a deal with Palm’s Beach Company to build a five-hectare lagoon as the centrepiece for the eagerly anticipated Al Nakheel Integrated Tourism Complex (ITC) in the Wilayat of Barka. Construction of the lagoon is due to start in the first quarter of 2018.

“Developing Oman’s tourism industry is a top priority for the government, investment is likely to see a number of recognised hospitality brands coming into the market. At Crystal Lagoons our technology allows us to develop mass bodies of water that are not only highly sustainable but also offer incredible turquoise water ideal for a range of water sports in a safe environment, perfect for large resorts and residential developments,” said Carlos Salas, Regional Director, Middle East, Crystal Lagoons.

“As investment in the country grows, as does competition. We can provide a viable, long term differentiator that offers something unique to other developments, we ultimately deliver the wow factor!”

Oman is renowned for having some of the cleanest waters in the world, as stated by a recent United Nations report. Crystal Lagoons technology provides a viable, sustainable solution, despite challenges such as water and energy supply, supporting Oman’s drive for clean water preservations through avoidance of contamination. Crystal Lagoons uses any kind of water including brackish from underground aquifers, eliminating the need to consume valuable fresh water resources.

The cutting-edge technology uses up to 30 times less water than a golf course and half of the water required to irrigate a park of the same size. A manmade lagoon also uses 100 times less chemicals than a traditional filtration system and just 2 per cent of the energy required by conventional water treatment systems for swimming pools and drinking water.

The country’s real estate market is also predicting a boost, according to a report by Cluttons.

“Although Oman is at the relatively early stages of planning freehold residential developments for investors outside of ITCs, there is potential for developers to create projects offering an array of amenities and that’s where we see Crystal Lagoons creating a value add. In our experience, developers can charge a premium on properties overlooking our projects and thus can attain a strong ROI (return on investment),” added Salas.

In addition to expansion in the Middle East, Crystal Lagoons has also recently revealed plans to create a new business model which will see the company introduce Public Access Lagoons (PALs) around the world.

In the US, Miami will soon have the first privately owned crystal-clear lagoon open to the public through tickets sales while in Europe, Spain has recently signed a deal to open the first PAL just 30km from the capital, Madrid. Initial discussions have also taken place with developers in the UAE, with talks currently ongoing. Crystal Lagoons will generate revenue through a percentage of tickets sold.

Crystal Lagoons currently boasts over 600 projects in different development and negotiation stages in 60 countries worldwide. The company holds two Guinness World Records for the world’s largest manmade lagoon, the first in San Alfonso del Mar, Chile; and Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, which is the current world record holder at 12.2 hectares.

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