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A Resort in the Sahara Desert?
by TheEtruscan at 21:47 February 14, 2014


In the 1960s as Acapulco was showing its age global tourism was growing at an extraordinary rate and demand was soaring for beach destinations, Mexico began planning for a new flagship beach resort.

Certain requisites had to be met: a warm climate with guaranteed year-round sunshine, extensive beaches and other attractions, a suitable geographical location, proximity to major tourism markets and land availability.

Four sites were identified: Cancun on the east coast of the Yucatán Peninsula, Los Cabos in Baja California Sur, Ixtapa-Zihuatenejo in Guerrero and Huatulco in Oaxaca. Cancun was chosen but eventually all others would be developed as well.

Today cruise ships sail around the world with the Caribbean islands being a favorite. But the weather in the form of hurricanes is of great concern for both these mega destinations in and around the Gulf of Mexico.

Why not look at some other safer locations?

I was surprised to discover that flooding the Sahara had already been contemplated by Jules Verne.

Oh well, my idea is not to flood all of the Sahara but create a saltwater lake with pumped in seawater in a suitable place within the Sahara Desert to build a major resort. My original idea was a spot in south-central Libya and northern Chad or Sudan.

All of the above criteria for an ideal beach destination would be met.

There would be plenty of sand to frolic in, the salt water would keep it healthy and the weather would be guaranteed beautiful all year around. Not a cloud in the sky.

It would be within easy access by air of important tourism markets: Europe, Middle East and the rest of Africa. The dunes could be stabilized to create a valley and with plenty of sunshine solar energy could be tapped. Fresh water could be obtained by deploying telescopic condensation towers in evaporating ponds also operating at night to capture the moisture in the air augmented by desalination plants if necessary.

And as in Cancun, if successful, more resorts could be built. I believe the Shah of Iran, Reza Pahlavi provided the early funds then. I had thought of Libya's Muammar Gaddafi as the original investor but since this is no longer an option, some Arabian sheik flush with petrol dollars (before they run out) could step in and do the initial financing given that the majority of vacationing people would not flock to a Muslim area.

Could it be that a benefit would be the arrest of the desertification of the Sahara region and lots of jobs and revenue created in the sensitive Sahel?