Some of the world’s best destinations have amazing pools which deliver a real wow factor,” says Ibrahim, “But building them so they’re sustainable, while still delivering a stunning design, takes creativity and technical expertise.”
With clients such as Six Senses, The W and Jumeirah, The Wellness is building a reputation for delivering stunning pools which are also sustainable, as well as natural bio pools, where swimmers don’t have to bathe in chlorine.
“Many operators engage to a contractor to develop their pools,” says Ibrahim, “But these kinds of companies tend to focus on the construction and not on the experience, the aesthetics or the sustainability.
“At The Wellness, we do it totally differently, by considering how we can make the experience special in every way possible – how does the water look? How can we use the space to become an anchor point in a wider and attractive space? Only once all this is established, do we move on to look at the technical aspects.
“We’re not just engineers, we’re architects and designers,” he says, “Our process starts with the design, by clearly establishing the kind of experience we want to create.
“If it’s done well, the pool in a resort or a destination will become the ‘hero shot’ – one of the main images you want to see on your website – and it will give a standout commercial advantage.
“In the context of its location and constraints, every water element is different,” says Ibrahim, “We come up with a narrative for every single element and use storytelling to create something special for each customer. There’s a story linked to the local culture and heritage behind every project and it needs to be meaningful, so the project gains maturity from it.
“We love to work with dedicated operators,” he says, “Because they spend time getting this context right, so the projects evolve to be outstanding.”
“When it comes to sustainability, people are sometimes concerned it will cost more,” says Ibrahim, but this isn’t the case and we can provide a feasibility study showing investors how quickly they can get a return on their investment if they choose a sustainable solution.
“A typical example would show a return on investment within two to three years, after which time savings are made, which fully justifies the investment, as well as helping to save the planet.”
Ibrahim says market-leading operators are aware of the value to customers of swimming in natural clear water: “Having a chemical-free pool is an ideal way to avoid the disadvantages of normal chemical material. Low-quality chlorine products will affect pool tiles, pool equipment and users will have a bad experience because of smell and eye irritation
“Salt chlorinator systems generate and dose free chlorine into pool water by an electrolysis process – you just need to add the right amount of salt to your pool and you will have safe water and will enjoy a long day in the pool without having red eyes,” says Ibrahim.
For example, the Al Faya Lodge by Mysk project, which was recently completed by The Wellness uses a new filtration system called OC-1, which is manufactured by Certikin. This saves 70 per cent of backwash water which leads to huge energy and chemical reductions.
Another alternative is a completely natural pool, explains Ibrahim: “For hundreds of years people enjoyed swimming in natural lakes and ponds where water gets cleaned by nature, without any chemical use.
“In a natural swimming pool – or bio pool – the water is purified and cleaned without any mechanical filtration or chemical use, after being fed through a regeneration zone, where it’s filtered through layers of gravel and aquatics plants.
“The regeneration zone provides a balanced ecosystem by breaking down harmful bacteria in water and converting them into nutrients for plant growth,” he explains. “Despite their higher capital cost when compared to normal pools, bio pools have much lower running costs.”
The Wellness recently completed a bio pool in Europe which is environmentally friendly and will deliver a great user experience.
“If you make wise decisions in terms of limiting what you build and make something beautiful, sustainable and which really adds a wow factor, then the whole project is running at a higher level and you’re going to save on investment, running and maintenance costs,” concludes Ibrahim.