It’s the question of water..
This is the New Aqaba. The 5 Billion dollar project recently announced. (Go see the hi-res pics on Sha3teely’s blog). As you can see above, it is to be built around a huge artificial lake.
Then there’s Ayla (recently rebranded from Ayla Oasis, complete with a HUGE, seemingly unending advertising campaign).
Again you see the huge lagoons, which the Ayla people claim will extend the ‘water line’ of Aqaba by 17 km!
Obviously, water based destinations are a huge attraction. If you ever visited Madinat Jumeira in Dubai you’ll understand.
Here the idea works as a waterway for boats that move people from the Al Qasar and Mina A’Salam hotels to the Souk. I haven’t been to the hotels so I can’t judge if the artificial bodies of water are used for any swimming activities (I doubt it).
Some people are concerned about the technical viability of such lakes. I am curious myself. Will one be able to swim in their water? Will there be fish in them? Will they have sandy beaches? Will the water move enough to stay fresh?
If any of you engineers out there can share some knowledge with us here about how these bodies of water are planned, built and managed, I’d be grateful.