Retail, leisure, water and amusement parks are the market segments that Salas says hold the most potential for Crystal Lagoons in the Middle East: “In the leisure segment, we feel we can help by bringing the beach lifestyle to the golf course. Golfers would be able to bring their whole family to the beach for the day whilst they go off and enjoy an 18-hole round of golf.
“We also want to move into the water and theme park segment because we believe there is a gap in the market. People are looking for experiences where they can participate in water sports, especially the millennial generation. Dubai has developed great water projects along the Palm Jumeirah, but we can actually build the same projects inland in every destination in the world.
“We’re talking to a lot of people about this, I can’t reveal names at this stage but these are strategic conversations. Hopefully we will sign our first [public access lagoon] soon.”
In conjunction to public access lagoons, the business is pushing the floating concept and has held “preliminary conversations” with third parties about rolling them out.
While Salas is unable to disclose details of the discussions at this stage, he is extremely confident that the companies will put money behind the concept.
“In 2018, we expect to sign contracts in Saudi, the UAE, and Egypt,” he says. “And because of the low cost of construction involved in these lagoons, the developments will pay off much more quickly [than similar man-made lagoon projects].”
For a company that broke the world record for the world’s largest man-made lagoon – and is now working to break its own record – the MENA region appears to be staying true to Salas’ words: it just keeps growing. From the biggest man-made lagoon in Saudi Arabia to increasing the number of lagoons in Jordan and the UAE, the list of projects goes on for Crystal Lagoons, proving that that MENA developers are noticing the benefits of man-made lagoons.
With Salas and his team powering through the region, Caribbean-style waters could very soon be coming to local deserts and urban metropolises.