Creating Water Resorts In The Desert: Here Are The World’s Largest From Palm Springs to Dubai

Fernando Fischmann is creating some of the most amazing water resorts around the world through his Chilean based company Crystal Lagoons. A biochemist-turned-real estate developer Fischmann was inspired by the clear blue waters he saw in natural lagoons while visiting Mexico and the Caribbean many years ago.

I had a chance to chat with Fischmann about his remarkable projects in some of the most remote locations, and the creation of a magnificent future oasis in Rancho Mirage, California that will feature the second largest lagoon in the world. The new desert property will be located within 618 acres on land that was once part of the former Walter Annenberg Estate and will be developed by Arizona-based DMB Development LLC.

After years of research, Fischmann has developed and patented technology for designing and maintaining the world’s largest artificial lagoons. The lagoons are sustainable, man-made bodies of clear water that can be created in any location from the desert to the sea. With white-sand beaches and boat docks, the lagoons can be filled with salt water or fresh water. They use fewer chemicals and less energy than regular systems to clean and circulate the water, and the artificial lagoons can be built from 8 to 12 feet deep.

In 1997, Fischmann began building the famed San Alfonso del Marresort, in Algarrobo, Chile, covering over 20 acres. The rocky surf in the area prohibited swimming, so the artificial lagoon was created to provide the perfect environment for swimming and water sports. The Guinness World Records called San Alfonso del Mar, “the largest swimming pool in the world,” measuring more than 1,000 yards long and using 66 million gallons of seawater.

Fischmann wanted to create an eco-friendly and sustainable treatment system that would keep water crystal-clear and control bacteria and algae while using fewer chemicals and less energy to filter the large volumes of water. They install electronic sensors around the lagoon to determine levels of bacteria and algae, and microinjectors release chemicals at different points as needed. Shallow bathing areas have more sensors and injectors than deeper areas, where people use boats.

Crystal Lagoons has experienced spectacular growth from the first lagoon project it completed in Chile to more than 600 urban, tourist and public projects in 60 countries. 110 projects are currently in development in the United States alone including several massive water lagoon resorts in the San Fernando Valley and Palm Springs area.

One of the more spectacular developments is The Meydan One in Dubai created as an urban, mixed-use district with four hotels each with their own unique style and experience. Also featured is the longest indoor ski slope in the world, spanning 1.2km from top to bottom, and ending alongside a water park directly outside the walls of the ski facility. Dubai One tower, standing at 711m tall will be the tallest residential tower in the world and soar over the development.

“When I started this company about 9 years ago I wanted to do something in Dubai,” says Fischmann, “We are now in the process of building the biggest lagoon project (The Meydan) there within 140 acres which will be the most expensive square feet in Dubai.” And for the future, he is excited about PAL (public access lagoons) projects with lagoons built in urban areas. “We will create beach life in the cities,” he says. “It is a new concept that will feature restaurants, convention centers, big outdoor amphitheaters for performances in front of a beach. This is where we are going in the future.” Among the new PAL projects currently being built are in; Phuket (Blue Tree) and Miami (Treasure Island) as well as reinventing malls across America.

Around the world Crystal Lagoons created stunning water resorts in remote locations including Egypt, (where they have 15 projects) including a lagoon in the middle of a desert, using saltwater from underground wells and creating a beautiful oasis. They have properties in remote areas like the isolated island of Bintan outside of Singapore and will be building in the mountains of Bolivia.

Fischmann tells me his companies top four largest lagoon resorts in the world will be; 1. Meydan One, Dubai (49-acres already built out of 150 acres), 2. Rancho Mirage, California (34 acres), 3. Playa Turquesa, Bolivia (32 acres), 4. Sharm el Sheik, Egypt (29 acres). It won’t be long before real estate developments around the world offer these mega lagoons as the ultimate luxury amenity bringing the beach lifestyle to everyone regardless of their location.

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