When we first learned about the 120,000 square meter artificial lagoon in Sharm el Sheikh designed to be the largest of its kind in the world, we wondered whether it would lift off or crumble in failure as so many of Egypt’s grand projects have done. We need wonder no more since World Architecture News has reported that it is remarkably close to completion.
Despite all of Egypt’s chaos – the revolution, violent clashes with SCAF and the lead-up to the presidential elections – construction of the massive 7.5 million square meter Citystars Sharm el Sheikh development project, which includes the addition of 12 artificial lakes – has persevered.
The crystal lagoons project was designed by Chilean biochemist Fernando Fischmann, who built the world’s largest “pool” in Chile. Called the San Alfonso del Mar’s lagoon, it covers eight hectares, is one-kilometer in length, and contains 250,000 cubic meters of water.
It was recognized by the Guinness World Records.
Although the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) and local conservation groups are desperately concerned about the Red Sea’s ecological health given runaway development on land, Fischmann teamed up with local engineer Yehia al-Meteini to trump his original record with a development project adjacent at the tip of the Sinai peninsula with an additional 40,000 square meters of crystal lagoons.
Al-Meteini claims that the project is “more sustainable than one would think.”
Designed by the world-renowned Chilean Fernando Fischmann, the 120,000 sq m Crystal Lagoon qualifies to be officially recognised by the Guinness World Records, featuring the most advanced, and patented and environmentally friendly technology of Crystal Lagoons Corporation. The state-of-the-art green design of Crystal Lagoon Sharm El Sheikh is completely environmentally friendly, and fulfils the highest standards of environmental safety.
Claims about environmental friendliness stem from the company’s process of keeping the water “crystal clear.” This is achieved by sucking out sea water that is treated using a pulse and low energy filtration system to keep the stagnant water from growing turbid; these pools are said to use 100 times less chemicals than standard pools.
Regardless of these claims which smack of greenwashing, we have not become aware of any environmental impact assessments, which are very unlikely to have taken place given the country’s unstable political environment during the entire execution of the project (not to mention its very long history of ignoring environmental concerns in the presence of large wads of cash).
Frankly, such conspicuous excess in the face of so much poverty, suffering and other environmental, social and political challenges in Egypt is both irresponsible and insulting.
More on Development Projects in Egypt:
Sinai’s Ecological Future Hangs in the Balance
Post-Revolution Development in Egypt Destroys Popular Red Sea Dive Spot
Is Troubled Egypt Ripe Enough for Eco-Tourism?