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Marrakesh Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


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Marrakesh is a prominent Moroccan city. After Casablanca, Fes, and Tangier, it is the country’s fourth biggest city. It is the capital of Marrakesh-mid-southwestern Safi’s region. Marrakesh is situated 580 kilometers (360 miles) southwest of Tangier, 327 kilometers (203 miles) southwest of Morocco’s capital, Rabat, 239 kilometers (149 miles) south of Casablanca, and 246 kilometers (153 miles) northeast of Agadir.

Marrakesh is one of Morocco’s four historic imperial cities, and it is perhaps the most significant (cities that were built by Moroccan Berber empires). The area has been occupied by Berber farmers since Neolithic times, but the city was built in 1062 by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, a leader and relative of Almoravid monarch Yusuf ibn Tashfin. In Marrakesh, the Almoravids erected several madrasas (Koranic schools) and mosques with Andalusian influences in the 12th century. The city’s crimson walls, erected by Ali ibn Yusuf in 1122–1123, and many structures built in red sandstone during this time period earned the city the moniker “Red City” or “Ochre City.” Marrakesh flourished quickly and established itself as a cultural, religious, and trade center for the Maghreb and Sub-Saharan Africa; the Jemaa el-Fnaa plaza is Africa’s busiest.

Marrakesh, like many Moroccan towns, consists of an ancient walled city filled with traders and their booths (the medina), surrounded by newer districts, the most notable of which is Gueliz. Today, it is one of Africa’s busiest cities, as well as a significant business center and tourism attraction. The current Moroccan king, Mohammed VI, is a great supporter of tourism, with the objective of doubling the number of visitors visiting Morocco to 20 million by 2020. Despite the economic downturn, real estate and hotel construction in Marrakesh has increased significantly in the twenty-first century. Marrakesh is very popular with the French, and several French celebrities buy property there. Marrakesh features Morocco’s biggest traditional market (souk), with 18 souks offering everything from traditional rural rugs to contemporary consumer gadgets. Crafts employ a significant portion of the people, who largely sell their wares to visitors.

Ménara International Airport serves Marrakesh, as does the Marrakesh train station, which links the city to Casablanca and northern Morocco. Cadi Ayyad University is one among numerous institutions and schools in Marrakesh. Najm de Marrakech, KAC Marrakech, Mouloudia de Marrakech, and Chez Ali Club de Marrakech are among the Moroccan football teams based here. The World Touring Car Championship, Auto GP, and FIA Formula Two Championship events are held at the Marrakesh Street Circuit.

Marrakesh – Info Card

FOUNDED :  1062
TIME ZONE : WET (UTC+0)   /   Summer : WEST (UTC+1)
LANGUAGE : Arabic (official), Berber dialects, French often the language of business, government, and diplomacy
RELIGION : Muslim 98.7%, Christian 1.1%, Jewish 0.2%
ELEVATION : 466 m (1,529 ft)
COORDINATES : 31°37′48″N 8°0′32″W
ETHNIC : Arab-Berber 99%, other 1%
DIALING CODE : +212 44

Tourism in Marrakesh

The name Marrakech comes from the Amazigh (Berber) phrases mur (n) akush, which means “go and stop,” and was used to direct people and camels in traffic many years ago. It is Morocco’s third biggest city, after Casablanca and Rabat, and is located on the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and just a few hours from the Sahara Desert’s edge. Its ideal position and varied nature have made it a sought-after Moroccan resort.

The city is separated into two different parts: the Medina, which is the medieval city, and the Gueliz, or Ville Nouvelle, which is a new European contemporary area. The Medina is full of interconnecting tiny passages and character-filled local stores; it also features the enormous plaza Jeema el fna, where visitors, residents, and merchants assemble. Gueliz, on the other hand, is home to contemporary eateries, quick food franchises, and big-name retailers.

Climate of Marrakesh

In Marrakesh, a hot semi-arid climate (Köppen: BSh) prevails. The average temperature in the winter is 12 °C (54 °F), while in the summer it is 32–45 °C (90–113 °F). Marrakesh’s precipitation pattern, which is rainy in the winter and dry in the summer, is similar to that of Mediterranean climates. The city, however, gets less rain than a Mediterranean climate would, resulting in a semi-arid climatic categorization.

“The region of Marrakesh is frequently described as desert in nature, but to someone familiar with the southwestern United States, the region suggests a seasonal rainfall area, where moisture moves underground rather than through surface streams, and where low brush replaces the forests of more heavily watered regions. Marrakesh’s location on the north side of the Atlas, rather than the south, prevents it from being classified as a desert city, but it remains the northern hub of Saharan communication, and its history, inhabitants, commerce, and arts are all linked to the great south Atlas spaces that extend further into the Sahara desert.”

Climate Data For Marrakesh, Morocco
Record high °C (°F)28.9
Average high °C (°F)18.4
Daily mean °C (°F)12.2
Average low °C (°F)5.9
Record low °C (°F)−2.3

Geography of Marrakesh

Marrakesh is 580 kilometers (360 miles) southwest of Tangier, 327 kilometers (203 miles) southwest of Rabat, 239 kilometers (149 miles) southwest of Casablanca, 196 kilometers (122 miles) southwest of Beni Mellal, 177 kilometers (110 miles) east of Essaouira, and 246 kilometers (153 miles) northeast of Agadir by road. The city has grown to the north with suburbs such as Daoudiate, Diour El Massakine, Yamama, Sidi Abbad, Sakar, and Malizia, to the southeast with Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, to the west with Massima, and to the southwest with Hay Annahda, Berradi, and beyond the airport. Large villages such as Douar Lahna, Touggana, Lagouassem, and Lahebichate may be found on the P2017 road going south out of the city, ultimately leading through desert to the town of Tahnaout at the edge of the High Atlas, North Africa’s highest mountainous barrier. The snow-covered High Atlas has an average elevation of nearly 3,000 meters (9,800 ft). Jurassic limestone makes up the majority of the structure. The mountain range stretches along the Atlantic coast before rising to the east of Agadir and stretching northeast through Algeria until vanishing into Tunisia.

The valley of the Ourika River lies approximately 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Marrakesh. In this spot, one can see the “silvery valley of the Ourika river curving north towards Marrakesh” and the “red heights of Jebel Yagour still topped with snow” to the south. Marrakesh is described as Morocco’s capital by David Prescott Barrows “”The city sits some fifteen or twenty miles from the foot of the Atlas mountains, which here rise to their greatest dimensions,” says the author of “The Strangest City.” The mountains provide a breathtaking view. The craggy features of the range may be seen for vast distances to the north and east through the pure desert air. The winter snows blanket them in white, and the turquoise sky provides an unequaled backdrop for their grey boulders and shining tops.”

Marrakesh is an oasis of abundant plant diversity, with 130,000 hectares of vegetation and over 180,000 palm trees in its Palmeraie. In Agdal Garden, Menara Garden, and other gardens across the city, fragrant orange, fig, pomegranate, and olive trees exhibit their color and fruits throughout the year. Giant bamboos, yuccas, papyrus, palm trees, banana trees, cypress, philodendrons, rose bushes, bougainvilleas, pines, and many types of cactus plants may all be found in the city’s gardens, along with other species that have been brought throughout the years.

Economy of Marrakesh

Marrakesh is an important part of Morocco’s economy and culture. Improvements to the motorways connecting Marrakesh and Casablanca, Agadir, and the local airport have resulted in a significant growth in tourism in the city, which currently draws over two million visitors every year. Because tourism is so important to Morocco’s struggling economy, King Mohammed VI has pledged to bring 20 million tourists to the country by 2020, more than tripling the number of visitors from 2012. The city is popular among the French, and several celebrities, including fashion moguls Yves St Laurent and Jean-Paul Gaultier, have purchased property there. Few foreigners resided in the city in the 1990s, but real estate development has exploded in the following 15 years; by 2005, over 3,000 foreigners had bought homes in the city, drawn by its culture and comparatively low property costs. “No longer only a destination for a sprinkling of daring aristocrats, bohemians, or travelers seeking Arabian Nights dreams, Marrakech is becoming an attractive stopover for the European jet set,” according to French weekly magazine Le Point. Despite the tourist boom, the bulk of the city’s residents remain impoverished, with 20,000 families without access to water or power as of 2010. Many businesses in the city are crippled by massive debt.

Despite the global economic crisis that started in 2007, real estate investments increased significantly in 2011, particularly in the tourism and social housing sectors. With investments of 10.9 billion dirham (US$1.28 billion) in 2011, the primary developments have been in tourism amenities such as hotels and leisure centers such as golf courses and health spas. In recent years, the hotel infrastructure has expanded rapidly. There were 19 new hotels set to debut in 2012 alone, a construction boom that has been likened to Dubai. One of Gulf Finance House’s major projects in Morocco is Royal Ranches Marrakech, a 380-hectare (940-acre) resort in the suburbs that will be one of the world’s first five-star equestrian resorts. The resort is intended to contribute significantly to the local and national economies, producing numerous employment and drawing thousands of tourists each year; it was around 45 percent complete as of April 2012. Avenue Mohammed VI, originally known as Avenue de France, is a significant street in the city. It has witnessed the fast growth of residential complexes as well as a slew of high-end hotels. Pacha Marrakech, a popular club that plays house and electro house music, is said to be Africa’s biggest nightclub, located on Avenue Mohammed VI. It also contains two huge movie theaters, Le Colisée à Gueliz and Cinéma Rif, as well as a new retail center, Al Mazar.



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