#AfriTravel: Crystal Lagoons adds R5.1bn sparkle to Egypt's 'new capital'

2017-02-27 19:00 - Unathi Nkanjeni
Post a comment 0

Cape Town - Two-time Guinness World Record holder for the world’s largest manmade lagoons now has its sights on adding some sparkle to the top of Africa.

International water innovation company Crystal Lagoons has announced a partnership with leading Egyptian real estate development company, Madaar Development to create two stunning lagoons surrounded by sandy beaches at the US$400 million (about R5.1bn at R12.95/$) Azha resort being built at Ain Sokhna in Egypt.

‘The new capital of Egypt’

Azha, a high-end waterfront luxury residential development is being described as ‘the new capital of Egypt’, on the increasingly popular western Red Sea coast, with the 1.6 million-square-metre development to feature a five-star line-up of spacious village residences, hotels and serviced apartments, a golf course and clubhouse, shops, community centres, a beach club, sports facilities and parks.

Combined, the crystal-clear lagoons  are expected to total over 16 hectares, with completion expected at the end of 2018. According to Crystal Lagoon, the crystal-clear lagoons will be the centre piece of the project, providing ample space for a range of watersports including swimming, kayaking, paddle boarding and windsurfing.

The announcement marks Crystal Lagoons’ 11th project in Egypt -  The country's vital tourism industry has been hard-hit after Islamic militants downed a Russian airliner over the Sinai Peninsula in October 2015, killing all 224 people on board. The crash prompted Russia to suspend all air links to Egypt and Britain to halt flights to Sharm el-Sheikh, a popular Red Sea resort in Sinai from which the doomed Russian airliner took off shortly before it crashed.

The sector has, however, shown signs of slow recovery since the beginning of the year. 

SEE: Emirates to unveil enhanced A380 onboard lounge at ITB Berlin

“We have seen a lot of interest from South African developers, and in some East and West African countries. We look forward to announcing a project in South Africa soon,” says Alastair Sinclair, Crystal Lagoons’ Director for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Crystal Lagoons is said to hold two Guinness World Records for the world’s largest manmade lagoon, the first in San Alfonso del Mar, Chile and the second in Sharm El Sheik, Egypt, which is the current world record holder at 12.2 hectares.

"Our technology provides a viable, sustainable solution, despite challenges such as water and energy supply," says Sinclair. "We can use any kind of water including brackish from underground aquifers, eliminating the need to consume valuable fresh water resources, something particularly important in Sub-Saharan Africa.”

What to read next on Traveller24:

- #AfriTravel: New routes from Namibia to west Germany

- ICUMI: SA skies see 2017's first Ring of Fire solar eclipse

- The Squatty Side of Travel