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Thu 27 Aug 2020 02:40 PM

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Why pay-as-you-go lagoons could be coming to the Gulf

US-based Crystal Lagoons says in talks with Middle East investors to expand global portfolio of public access lagoons

Why pay-as-you-go lagoons could be coming to the Gulf

US multinational water innovation company Crystal Lagoons announced on Thursday it is in talks with Middle East investors to bring public access lagoons to the region.

The company, which totals 22 real estate projects globally anchored by crystalline lagoons including District One in Dubai and Citystars Sharm ElSheik, Egypt, is looking to expand its portfolio of public access lagoons, also known as PAL, which can be accessed via ticketed-entry.

The firm said it is negotiating with Middle Eastern investors and foreign funds, adding that interest in PAL has transformed these amenities into the meeting point of the 21st century, following their success in Japan and the US, particularly in Texas and Florida, with both projects generating $50,000 in daily ticket revenues.

The company offers investment models with infrastructure options, with the most complete including areas for road shows, food halls, weddings and concerts in multiple set-ups such as beaches, terraces, domes, as well as an array of gastronomic offerings, retail and amphitheatres.

Key master agreements for PAL have already been signed in Korea, Pakistan and Central America, the company added.

"Investors envisage that, as these projects are built, they generate a financial pyramid. Despite a low initial investment, a company can achieve a very high present value," said Alastair Sinclair, Crystal Lagoons regional director.

"The hotel industry has identified an increase in value in rates and food and beverage consumption up to 200 percent when hotels include a beach, compared to hotels inland. Investors have corroborated that, on lower-value land, a hotel combining a beach and PAL elements can benefit from very attractive returns," he added.

He said the multinational is negotiating 19 developments in countries such as Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrein and Oman.

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