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Waterparks

Crystal Waters

An innovative design combines waterpark and theme park to become one of the UAE’s most exciting new developments


A mixed-concept theme-water park boasting a mixture of 40 wet and dry attractions is coming to the emirate of Sharjah in the UAE.

Jack Rouse Associates (JRA) has unveiled the master plan and the preliminary designs for Crystal Lagoon water-theme park, part of the $5.4bn (£3.5bn, €4.8bn) Sharjah Waterfront City development.

Crystal Lagoon will be sited on one of a series of 10 islands interconnected by man-made canals – part of the upcoming Waterfront City, a luxury residential, commercial and tourism destination across on 36km (22.3 miles) of coastline.

Attractions will include a combination of waterslides, family rides, thrill rides, 4D dark rides, a state-of-the-art planetarium and children’s rides. Crystal Lagoon will also have a rollercoaster that combines the action of a water ride with the interactive nature of a video game.

Crystal Lagoon will feature a night water show made up of a series of coloured fountains as a “relaxation” event for visitors to chill out after spending a day in the water/theme park hybrid.

“We have launched Sharjah Waterfront City in line with Sharjah’s development plans to attract 10 million visitors to its emirate by 2021,” says Hayssam El Masri, president of developer Sharjah Oasis Real Estate. The emirate currently receives 2 million tourists per year.

“These robust plans will increase demand for residential and commercial units as well as hotels, especially in prime locations that offer all modern facilities and we can proudly say Sharjah Waterfront City will be able to match the demands and provide the desired quality of living,” says El Masri.

The attraction will operate year-round, with a “well known waterpark operator” handling day-to-day operations at the park.

According to a feasibility study by Colliers International, more than 1 million people are expected to visit the attraction on an annual basis once fully operational.

All figures suggest that Crystal Lagoon is aiming high; the most-visited waterpark in the UAE, Aquaventure in Dubai, attracted 1.4 million guests in 2014. Estimates from Crystal Lagoon Entertainment, who will own the park, forecast it will generate an ROI of between 19 and 24 per cent.

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