An Increase in UAE’s Artificial Lagoon Developments

  • Artificial lagoon construction costs are an estimated $600,000 to $650,000 per acre
  • Filtration only requires 2% of the energy needed by traditional systems
  • The UAE expects to exceed AED 300 billion worth of real estate investment in 2022

Unique Properties, one of Dubai’s leading real estate agencies, has observed a growing interest in the country’s crystal lagoon segment of real estate developments. Nearly 70% of MENA consumers in 2020 believed that their way of living would change significantly post-pandemic. This mass reassessment of mindsets has seen buyers prioritize buying sustainably constructed developments in walkable neighborhoods that provide a higher quality of life and access to open spaces.

Man-made lagoon residential developments are not new. Mohammed Bin Rashid (MBR) City’s District One, which incorporates this concept, first began construction in 2013 while other developers have implemented the same infrastructure within their projects over the years. The launch of Expo City Dubai, formerly District 2020, has resulted in increased interest from both property buyers and developers. New developments such as Dubai South are helping meet the rising demand for artificial lagoon concepts in the area to reinforce the strength of this growing trend.

Despite its relatively high construction cost, developers agree that lagoon builds are worth the attention they bring. This concept is one of luxury and the vast majority of these buyers in Dubai attract international investors, representatives of large business communities, as well as owners and shareholders of leading holding and transnational corporations. However, it’s worth noting that most buyers of the ultra-luxury housing market make such purchases for lifestyle reasons[3]. With regional consumers re-evaluating their consumption habits and paying more attention to social and environmental impact, lagoon concepts will continue to grow, especially in big cities away from coastal areas.

Requiring only 2% of the energy that is needed by conventional filtration systems, the treatment process for a lagoon concept uses 100 times fewer chemicals than swimming pools or drinking water. Advancements in technology see only 1% of the body of water needing to be filtered, which encompasses the part of a lagoon containing all the dirt and bacteria. The environmental impact is enormous with lagoons using half as much water as a land park of the same size, and up to 30 times less water than a golf course. This progress has contributed to greater cost efficiency and ease of mass-scale builds for developers, especially with construction times shortening to six months from the previous nine to 12 months.[4]

Arash Jalili, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Unique Properties, UAE HQ, says: “With sustainability and eco-friendliness at its core, the popularity of man-made lagoons is skyrocketing. COVID-19 altered the landscape of global real estate and demand for luxury housing has surged to shatter expectations that were set just a couple of years back. New reporting requirements for property transactions and tightened regulations in the UAE have brought stability back to the market and this will help meet the rising demand. Dubai’s property sector attracted more than AED 135 billion worth of investment through the first half of 2022 and real estate investment throughout the country is projected to exceed AED 300 billion by the year-end[5]. Artificial lagoon concepts are increasingly contributing to the UAE’s real estate growth with multiple projects underway. With added value for developers, buyers, and all relevant stakeholders between – crystal lagoons are here to stay.”

Alastair Sinclair, Regional Director of Crystal Lagoons, commented: The concept and sustainable technology, developed by Crystal Lagoons, allow crystalline lagoons of unlimited sizes to be built and maintained at very low costs, bringing idyllic beach life anywhere in the world, even in the middle of deserts. Especially important in the Middle East is that this technology uses any type of water, even brackish, making use of the water from underground in the desert which otherwise would have no alternative use. Crystal Lagoons amenities add value to real estate developers and end users. A real estate project with a crystalline lagoon achieved a historical number in terms of promises and sales units sold. In this sense, the value per square meter increases exponentially, as do sales rates of the real estate projects, at times over 70%. These crystalline lagoons allow projects to increase density in ways previously unseen, creating successful projects that aim to provide users better quality of life.

Unique Properties has become one of the most trusted real estate players in the UAE through its willingness to innovate and adapt. The full-service award-winning real estate agency is receiving a great deal of interest for lagoon projects, from international clients who are looking for alternative real estate investments and holiday homes in large waterfront communities outside of the city. Unique Properties is accordingly continuing to seek out opportunities to facilitate additional transactions in the country that will meet the market’s demand.


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