The kingdom takes over intr-African investment based on the latest report of this year’s African Economic Outlook, with Moroccan phosphate giant standing 5th among the company businesses that invest in Africa the most.
Based on this year’s report issue of the African Economic Outlook which sums up the total investments from the year 2015 to 2016, the OCP Group company has invested in 4 projects in Africa amounting to more than 4 billion dollars.
The kingdom of Morocco has already presented itself as the top investor in Africa, has more than eight billion dollars of capital funds declared from 2015 to 2016. Morocco is developing as Africa’s investment champ, as seen in the growing capacities of local firms in the finance sector, telecom as well as manufacturing.
For more than a year, Ethiopia turned out to be the first beneficiary of the kingdom’s financing. Based on the information, it’s an outcome of the deal finalized in November last year among the government of Ethiopia and Morocco’s phosphate producer Office Cherifien des Phosphates (OCP) Group to finance more than three billion dollars in putting up a fertilizer factory.
The next biggest recipient of Morocco’s FDI is Côte d’Ivoire, receiving not less than 2.7 billion dollars in 2015 till 2016, surpassing France as the top investor. Amongst the firms operating in the Ivorian region are Morocco’s bank subsidiaries led by Akwa Group, Attijariwafa bank, and BTP.
In total, for 10 years, the finance establishments in Morocco has grown their sub-Saharan Africa footprint by means of several acquisitions throughout the region, with the presence of Morocco banks in over twenty African countries.
During the first quarter of 2016, the OCP group launched the foundation of its subsidiary OCP Africa and declared that OCP Africa will set up fifteen subsidiaries on the continent to sustain its local progress.
On a similar day in Jorf Lasfar, the office headed by Mostafa Terrab likewise launches valued to be 5.3 billion Moroccan dirhams called the Africa Fertilizer Complex meant for the African markets.
The foundation of OCP Africa sustained its presence and development in the continent and helped improved OCP’s turnover in the African market. Expanding in Africa, the Moroccan group was significantly assisted by the African Development Bank or ADB. Akinwumi Ayodeji Adesina, its bank president from Nigeria has promised to support OCP’s numerous activities to benefit the African continent.
Morocco’s return to the African Union as well as the official visits of King Mohammed VI to various countries in Africa likewise became a big part in facilitating the way for OCP Group in the African market.
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Morocco’s vision to become one of the world’s hottest destination by the year 2020 is moving closer to reality after regulatory forms were presented in 2010.
After the country’s Department of Tourism released officially its Vision 2020 along with a formal report to King Mohammed VI, Morocco has crafted extensive reforms to develop Morocco among the top 20 travel destinations by 2020 as well as a good example of sustainability in Mediterranean spots.
Because of the significant value of the tourism sector in the country’s GDP and its importance as the 2nd biggest job provider in Morocco, a broad set of reforms were set up to generate a safe, unique, inexpensive tour experiences for those wanting to travel to Morocco. Changes include concerns on transportation, hotel rank system, tour guides as well as security.
The country’s Ministry of Tourism has carried out 2 key strategies in its effort to supply best value accommodation at an inexpensive price. Further, it puts a huge importance on trying to grow the number of lodging companies for travelers. The result was a notable growth in room capacity, increasing from ninety-seven thousand back in 2001 up more than 230,000 beds by the later part of 2015.
Other than increasing the tourist draw, the Ministry of Tourism likewise carried out a new rank system in 2002 which dictates that it’s mandatory for all tour establishments to have the 3 primary components – rank device, ranking scope and ranking repository. The reform seeks to improve the service quality extended to tourists at the same time raising the competition amongst tour establishments in the national and international level.
The tourism department also aimed reformation in tourist transportation, putting various guidelines for investors. These contain provisions in relation to per vehicles minimum number of passengers, car maintenance, insurance, social service benefits and submitting yearly report activity.
Tour guide services have also received the same government attention. The ministry began an annual training for “Guide of Cities and Tourist Circuits” and “Guides of Natural Spaces.”
This program runs to improve a tour guide’s hospitality and life building skills. The training also enhances one’s interpersonal skills, knowledge of basic culture, a good work ethic, first aid care, etc. Conducted in 2 days, the training began in October of 2016 under the guidance of esteemed trainers.
Looking after these amendments, the kingdom has implemented a unique move towards tourist security making it one of the world’s safest during when other Northern African countries have experienced the big drop in tourism because of security concerns.
Morocco has developed as Africa’s top travel destination receiving more than 12 million tourists plus new travel agreements with various countries.
Morocco’s latest agreement with China paved way for a 300% tourists increases, making the kingdom China’s top tourist attraction.
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Situated in Casablanca’s old city, foodie traveler will be enthralled to know that Marché Central is set to be repaired and converted into a travel and gourmet dining destination.
Just a short walk or tram ride coming to United Nations Place located in the center of Casablanca along the busy road of Muhammad V Boulevard is Marché Central, the city’s primary marketplace. The site is an exciting spot for travelers who want to experience the country’s local culture by going on a food tour. The local market has everything on sale, from basic food to flowers to traditional wear.
Market stalls offer many of the Casablanca’s freshest produce of fruits and veggies, a variety of fish and seafood and baskets of spices that overwhelm your senses.
To locals, Marché Central has been a go-to site to set off for lunch. Diners from various modest eateries come together over table indulging on big plates of grilled fish, veggies, salads, bread and seafood soup. The experience is a fun community experience plus it’s so cheap.
There is a15 million Moroccan dirham allotment coming from Directorate of Local Collectivities (DGCL) and the Casablanca – Settat region’s Regional Council, controlled by a local social development firm, Casablanca Patrimoine.
According to the organization, the main goal of the project is to revamp Le Marché Central to convert it into a gourmet food destination that meets international level.
Together with the investors, Casablanca Patrimoine plans to renovate the area and make it into a chic market area but retaining its initial concept.
This development is anticipated to be finished by later months of next year.
The structure was built between 1918 and 1919 in the time of French protectorate in the country. The marketplace is being surrounded by Boulevard Mohamed V as well as Allal Ben Abdallah Street in Casablanca.
Project leaders will be taking inspiration from global markets such as Madrid Spain’s San Miguel market and Boqueria of Barcelona.
Set up 2 years ago, Casablanca Patrimoine is presently doing on quite a few other projects such as restoration of Casablanca’s ‘Sacré Coeur’ church as well as the ‘vélodrome’ stadium.
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If you are planning to explore Morocco’s biggest city, here’s a travel plan to serve your guide.
The best time to go is when Casablanca when temperatures are mild with sunny skies.
Being a previous colony of France, Casablanca has a unique charm adorned with an old walled Medina settled like a gem inside a Euro style city with luxurious Art Deco villas and wide boulevards. The country’s official air carrier, Royal Air Maroc makes it easier to travel to Morocco.
The primary airport is just about twenty miles south of the city center. From the airport, the half an hour train trip to Casa Voyageurs railway station runs every hour. Taxis once in town is the most convenient to get around.
Go to a spot where you can get a good view of where old Casablanca meets the present. Place de Nations Unies The Café de France gives you the initial feel of the place.
Stroll along the Boulevard Hassan II to Place Mohammed V, the center hub of the city’s new town with the remarkable architectural style of merging Moorish motif with colonial functionalism. Don’t miss the City Hall clock tower, Palais de Justice and beautiful façade tiles of the Bank al-Maghrib.
Try the food at Restaurant Al Mamoun for lunch. After which, cross over the Place des Nations Unies to get to the Medina and walk towards the famous Hassan II Mosque, Morocco’s biggest mosque.
Inspired by the Hollywood movie classic, Rick’s Café will definitely bring you back to old Hollywood glam. You may also check out a local favorite, La Sqala which has a beautiful garden surrounded by 18th Century fortress.
On the city’s southern part lies Parc de Arabe, on its west side stands Cathedrale Sacre-Coeur. From the cathedral, walk towards the park where it houses Villa des Arts gallery.
Head over to Quartier Habous for some coffee. Café Imperial is a good choice.
If you fancy buying something from Morocco, go window shopping and check out traditional rugs, sequined slip on’s and leather stores. Haggle just so to experience the trade and stop by Patisserie Bennis Habous and try gazelle horns with almond cream filling. Hire a taxi at the Royal Palace back to the city center.
Travel to westbound tram up until the upmarket beachside area of Ain Diab. The minute you arrive, take a walk along the boardwalk called Corniche. It has rows of restaurants and bars. If you want to swim, just head to any of the private clubs since the sand in Corniche is quite rocky and can get too crowded.
Most recommended is the Tahiti Beach Club located at Boulevard de la Corniche which is also expensive since it has the most beautiful facilities with 3 swimming pools and 4 poster lounge area where guests are treated to a beautiful Moroccan sun overlooking the ocean. For budget travelers, opt for Club Tropicana which is only a few doors down.
Related post: 2017 Must See Cities in Morocco
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Getting to know Finland is understanding the world’s leading country when it comes to education. It’s educational system tops almost every standard in education such as the ratio of the number of students per teacher, learning results, school grades, scholastic skills etc.
Their educational status is due largely from many procedural guidelines and policies. Finland presents the same education features to every student in spite of social background or region.
There are no private schools in Finland because the government’s education system is public. It is where homework is rarely given because they believe that students must concentrate more on everyday tasks and interests outside of school. Tests are seldom given to students to give them enough time to focus more on subjects and develop styles of learning.
In addition, teachers in Finland are experts, highly experienced professionals, and polite. To become a teacher, you must have a master’s degree and should take an entrance test prior to signing up for a teacher training school. After which, only one out of ten applicants will be chosen. Many regards the profession to be amongst the most difficult. And because the country puts so much faith on those working in the field of education, there is no such thing as teacher inspection in the country.
Since Finland believes highly in its education system, there is also a high level of trust on its products, the teachers. Trusts run in the system and people – between teachers and students, between parents and teachers and the students themselves. Government officials from the education sector believe that is education should be built on trust. It’s where teachers have the right to select the curriculum which they think is fitting for their students.
Classrooms in Finland are relatively tiny. They believe that the smaller the classrooms and students are closer to one another, the setting creates intimate relationships that encourage students to easily learn. However small, rooms are still furnished with the needed services and facilities. It features bookshelves, music instruments, computers with internet access.
The government of Finland relief on the belief that the human brain is the resource we all should take care of. Thus, teachers, Finnish parents and decision makers invest highly in education. Finland’s education system puts emphasis on global educational standards so their students will be competitive on the international market.
At present, electronics is Finland’s sole biggest manufacturing industry. Additionally, 3.5 percent of the country’s national GDP is used in research and development. Compared to many countries, Finland has more researchers per capita.
Related article: Fascinating Data on Japan’s School System
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The Minister of Culture and Communication Mohamed Laaraj revealed that about 330 million Moroccan dinars were given to their agency where the official proposed a revamp to many of the country’s monumental sites and construction of additional cultural platforms.
During an official report, the minister pointed out various modifications their office would put together to take advantage of the cultural aspect of Morocco.
Mohamed Laaraj aims to put up additional cultural centers, institutions, and platforms to preserve Morocco’s culture and heritage.
The target, the minister stated, was to solidify cultural diplomacy through the valorization of heritage and to support the national cultural setting.
The official further tackled other issues which include the rehabilitation of several of the very important monument as well as historical sites of El Hoceima, Rabat, Marrakech and Casablanca that draws huge sums of global tourists.
The department official additionally announced that their office will carry out all the initiatives in relation to cultural interactions that includes theater, music, support services for various undertakings and cultural associations.
EU in supporting Morocco’s culture
10 Moroccan organizations coming from Marrakech, Tangier and Casablanca has been chosen by SouthMed CV to provide financial aid to support cultural efforts in the south Mediterranean.
4 Moroccan projects were chosen by the European Union to be recipients of 209,014 Euro for 9 – 12 months including 6 partnerships amongst Moroccan organizations as well as several countries in the southern Mediterranean.
“Le 18”, a cultural center in Marrakech was chosen for Kibrit, a joint research, and production program committed to modern art as well as curatorial practices whose goal is feature Morocco’s cultural heritage and collective memory.
The Espace Tabadoul located in Tangier has put up the Tanjazz Young Talent Competition supporting young people express their art and in promoting the involvement of the youth and women in music happenings.
The Dabateatre association located in Tangier launched the project entitled “Proposal for a Metropole” to offer a creative and art response to the socio-cultural as well as issues in the metropolitan.
Roots Association was chosen for Mediterranean Action & Research for Sustainability and Dev’t. or MARSAD. The program seeks to build a joint platform intended for research, execution, supervising and on observing the region’s cultural policies.
Together with the 4 projects, 6 partnerships with Moroccan organizations have also been created – Opprimé Theater, Observatory Workshop, Casablanca School of Architecture, Skefkef Magazine, Espace Darja and Insolite Library.
Cultural projects in Tunisia, Egypt, Lebanon, Algeria, Jordan, and Palestine were also chosen by the European Union partly included in the initiatives of SouthMed CV’s in the southern Mediterranean.
Sept up by the European Med Culture program, SouthMed CV is supporting art and cultural initiatives in the south Mediterranean through offering financial assistance.
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Former executive Samir Benmakhlouf launches London Academy Casablanca after he left his position in Microsoft Morocco this May. Mr. Samir is seizing the field of education, way different from his previous world of technological advancement and information technology management.
Located in Bouskoura, the school catering from kindergarten to primary level opened its registration last 8th of May 2017 for the upcoming school year. Offering bilingual courses in Arabic as well as English and solidified by a British program and Int’l. Baccalaureate program, London Academy Casablanca will furthermore present a hybrid pedagogy involving experiential and e-learning. It is also partnering with Arsenal Soccer School.
During a recent media interview, Benmakhlouf, who is very enthusiastic about teamwork and on improving people’s careers and abilities, most especially young talent, stated his belief on education as the investment of the future. The executive turned entrepreneur shares that throughout his fourteen work years for Microsoft and more than 8 years in entrepreneurial business, he constantly envisions innovating and transforming the system of education. He adds that this is grounded in global best practices as well as utilizing technology so that a child is prepared not for the past but for the future trades.
Based on reports, the London Academy Casablanca, a bilingual SMART School supported by the British National Curriculum, will be the only Moroccan school in Casablanca to provide a curriculum in Arabic and English. The desire of Benmakhlouf surpass the borders of Moroccan economic capital. He intends to duplicate LAC’s concept on numerous cities and hopefully up to the continental scale in the future.
With the International Baccalaureate being acknowledged as the world’s prime global education program, the school prepares inquisitive, affectionate young students to build a better world by means of intercultural understanding and respect. Additionally, it provides students with a leading edge toward access to the best universities in the world.
The businessman, who holds a Master’s degree in Industrial Engineering and Management Systems as well as a Ph.D. in Industrial Automation and Management from the United States, further stated that London Academy Casablanca will set as a model of an educational transformation.
Accredited by the Ministry of Education in Morocco, the school program will give more emphasis to the pupil and not the teacher. The setting will boost the entrepreneurial spirit as well as volunteerism, laying emphasis that the school will open up students to coding even at a primary level so to prepare the country’s next IT prodigies. Also included in the program are mechanical activities such as robotics and gaming.
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Education is an integral foundation of a country’s society. Japan’s educational system is highly regarded by many countries.
According to the latest study, Japanese kids are in the lead with regards to literacy and numeracy skills. Their country’s education system is very much distinct and we may be able to learn from it.
Japanese students, even as young as 5 years old can solve math problems easily. They learn by drawing and playing. Fascinating isn’t it?
This is simply because teaching in Japan is all about the quality of lessons, not quantity.
In Japan, a standard math class begins with traditional aisatsu or greeting to the teacher. Greetings are an important part of Japanese culture adopted also in school setup. The teacher then questions his students if they know how to solve the problem on the board. The first student to finish raises his hand, teacher checks and gestures if correct. The student stands and moves away from his seat. Once another student raises a hand, the first student takes the teacher’s role and check if his classmate’s solution is correct.
Japanese educators believe in learning by means of teaching. Doing so will have students retain more information. Merely asking the students to listen as teacher lectures in front, students will remember just the 40%. It’s more efficient to let them discuss the problems and as they teach one another while also having a rest time to continue the motivation.
Parents in Japan realize how challenging it is to help their kids understand all the characters to use for communication. But due to the quality of teaching method, kids already know 1,006 kanji characters before they even leave primary school. By age 15, they will learn an additional 1,130.
Other than kanji, there are 2 sets of Japanese phonetic scripts, katakana and hiragana which may look complicated for many.
The unique school system of Japan
Japan’s educational system is a national pride for Japanese, having traditional ways of helping Japanese students leaving behind their counterparts.
The school system of the country includes six years of elementary school, three years of junior high school, three years senior high school then four years in University.
Because Japan’s education system is so good, the country has 100% enrollment and 0 illiteracy. Although high school is not compulsory, enrollment remains high with almost 100 percent in the city areas.
Nearly all schools function on 3 term system with school years that starts in April. Japan has one of the longest school days having an average school day on weekdays that takes about six hours. Yet after school, even during vacation, students still work on drills and homework.
Unlike most schools in the world, there is no janitor in a Japanese school. Both teachers and students work a few minutes every day cleaning their rooms and toilets. Doing this exercise, students are disciplined to keep their areas neat and orderly for they have to clean it themselves.
In Japan, when a teacher gets sick, unsupervised students are relied upon to study quietly and independently that schools seldom use substitute teachers.
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Morocco’s Ministry of Tourism has embraced a thorough procedure for building up Morocco’s tourism segment to make Morocco one of the world’s top travel destinations and to support tourism as the driving force for financial, social, and cultural development in Morocco.
The administration’s 2020 Vision Plan, which looks forward to expanding incomes from tourism to MAD 140 billion by 2020, concentrates on genuineness to make Morocco a more alluring destination for travelers. The ministry will take on preemptive measures to protect Morocco’s natural and cultural heritages to reinforce Morocco’s cultural identity.
The 2020 Vision additionally supports Morocco’s different sub-societies, natural assets, and environmental framework, and openness to Africa and Europe, The Tourism Ministry takes operates these components to make them meet the desires of visitors.
The 2020 Vision additionally concentrates on giving quality service and enjoyment to supplement the prime tourism framework. Morocco will build up its lodging capacity, concentrating on differed entertainment and recreation facilities keeping in mind the end goal to contend with other international tourism franchise.
Sustainable tourism is likewise among the significant targets of the 2020 Vision. The Ministry of Tourism will keep operating on components that have given improvement to Morocco as a better tourist destination. The strategy will think about keeping on the modernity as well as authenticity by carrying out a coordinated system that includes watching and assessment by the Sustainable Tourism Commission and the High Authority of Tourism.
So as to take into account this goal-oriented vision, Morocco will multiply its residential capacity in twofold by making 200,000 beds, increase the local tourism, and make 470,000 employment.
Morocco’s General Manager of National Tourism (ONMT) Mr. AbderrafieZouitensaid in a meeting that “Morocco needs to pull in 1.5 million visitors in the following two years” which will entail an additional 400 million Moroccan dirham, far beyond the expense of 2020 vital vision. This arrangement concentrates on travelers from the theUnited States and Germany. Morocco will probably produce new organizations with aircraft and open 57 aerial tracks.
Zouiten additionally clarified that the agency utilizes digital media to give data on Morocco’s topographical dissemination of tourism, upgrade Morocco’s label for tourism, and report the authoritative strategies required for foreign voyagers to come to Morocco. “These strides which will be accessible one month from now will empower 80 percent of voyagers to utilize the Internet for arranging and booking their tours,” he included.
Morocco Travel and Tourism in Report Morocco to 2017
The Moroccan travel and tourism industry recorded slow growth during the study’s timeframe between 2008 to 2012, because of the European sovereign debt crisis and the 2010 Arab Spring uprising. Government activities on local and global tourism advancements, the improvement of tourism foundation and expanded government ventures will build up the tourism industry over the estimated time frame of 2013 to 2017.
The report published by website Research Markets in 2014 presented an extensive market study, insights, and information including:
– Historical data and estimated number of travelers covering the whole Moroccan travel and tourism industry
– Detailed report of visitor buying patterns in Morocco for different classifications in the travel and tourism area, like settlement, touring and entertainment, transportation, food service, retail, travel agents and others
– Detailed travel market classification in every kind, with assessment comparing the inbound and outbound tourist flows.
– Detailed report on the industries of airline companies, hotels and another lodging, auto rental and travel intermediaries.
The website encourages business owners in the tourism sector to get a copy of the report so they can make strategic and sound business choices utilizing historical and projected market information engaged in the travel industry. The report would also help them the demand progression within the country’s tourism industry, alongside essential market trends and development opportunities.
Key Report Features
– In June 2013, the Ministry of Tourism introduced the new version of the KounouzBiladi program to advance the local tourism. KounouzBiladi targets middle-class families who don’t budget some money for outings. The ministry reported attractive price offerings and travel offices gave away appealing packages like those offered to foreign visitors all through the 2012 version of the program. The service additionally declared that KounouzBiladi will be stretched out to other seasons to empower local travelers to be consistently rewarded by discounts for one year.
– In July 2013, the tourism board expanded its emphasis on nations like Eastern Europe, China, North America, Russia and the Middle East to boost Morocco as a beautiful travel destination. The Moroccan National Tourist Office has effectively set up workplaces in Beijing and introduced an arrangement expecting to pull in Chinese vacationers. The office has likewise asked for carriers in both Morocco and China to fly non-stop flights between the two nations.
– In June 2013, Royal Air Maroc reported that it would buy 20 to 30 new planes by 2020, including five long-haul airplanes. British Airways had expanded the number of flights from seven to 10 between November 2012 to March 2013 flying Marrakech and London. In April 2013, Ryanair has likewise restored its long haul enthusiasm for the nation by including two bases in Marrakesh and Fez, expanding its Moroccan operations to 60 courses and eight air terminals, transporting 2.5 million travelers a year to Morocco.
– Premium and top of the line lavish lodging brands, for example, Mandarin Oriental, The Address Hotels, Oberoi, Rocco Forte Collection and Kempinski, have begun putting resources into new properties in the nation; 54 hotel projects are planned with an overall capacity of 15,000 new guest rooms. To be included in this undertaking are 18 five-star hotels will be constructed in Marrakech. Kempinski is likewise setting up two new properties in the nation. The Royal Palace Hotel opened in Agadir with 260 rooms last March 2013, and in October 2013, Al Houara hotel with 270-room opened in Tanger.
– The cost of leasing a basic car without any limitations on travel distance begins from MAD3,408.2 (US$395.0) each week or MAD491.8 (US$57.0) each day. This is exceptionally costly for a North African nation. Most auto rental organizations likewise request a refundable money deposit of MAD2,934.7 (US$340.0) or MAD4,875.0 (US$565.0) if not paid by a charge card. The best urban communities to call car rentals are in Tangier, Casablanca, and Marrakesh, where autos are accessible at modest costs.
- Travel agencies in Morocco are profiting by local crowds through web advertising strategies, and all travel packages booked through them are liable to a 15% rebate. Local tourists can likewise get to an interlocutor if they are disappointed with the travel organization’s services.”
Travel Guide: Top Places to Visit in Morocco
Some of the best places to travel when in Morocco include the imperial metropolis of Fes, Marrakech, and Meknes. This is the place where you will find beautiful bazaars, royal residences, and busy town squares. Morocco is likewise well known for its shorelines, and a portion of the best ocean towns areEssaouira, Tangier, and Asilah. Morocco has an innate beauty. You can rent a camel and trek through the Sahara; climb the highest peak of North Africa; or stay in a conventional Kasbah in the entrancing Dades Valley.
Travel Guide to Marrakech
Located at the foot of the Atlas mountains, the royal city of Marrakech is huge, loud, tainted and stinky. Be that as it may, Marrakech is captivating and loaded with history. On you appreciate an assault of overwhelming senses, then you’ll have a great deal of fun. When the most famous sights include many references to “Serenity” and “peace” like the Majorelle gardens or the greenery enclosures around the Saadian Tombs you know you’re in for a fascinating happening.
It’s fairly easy to get around Marrakech without even hiring a tour guide. There are so many areas that you can see; it’s recommended to spend three days in Marrakech. If your budget allows, treat yourself to a stay in a Riad so when you come back from a busy day, you can unwind and have some mint tea in a peaceful patio.
Best Time to Go
Visit Marrakech in the cooler months from September and May. However, some yearly events happen in summer which you might want to experience:
- Marrakech Popular Arts Festival in July. This yearly celebration draws in artists, fortune tellers, acting troupes, snake charmers, fire dancers and then some, from all over Morocco. Since 2000 the event has additionally pulled in numerous craftsmen and performers from Europe and Asia. The main events happen in the remains of the 16 century Badi Palace and the Djemma el Fna).
- Fantasia is a stallion riding exhibition that incorporates many charging horsemen (and ladies) wearing traditional attire. The spectacle is one feature of the Popular Arts Festival, so it also happens in July. You can see the Fantasia on the nights outside the city walls close to the Bab Jdid. If you don’t get the opportunity to see it in July, there’s the Chez Ali, a restaurant that offers the Fantasia as the amusement while you eat.
- Imilchil Marriage Feast is a Berber marriage festival where up to forty couples get married. It happens in Imilchil in the Middle-High Atlas Mountains close to Marrakech. The festival is an extraordinary way to experience the culture of Berber including dance and music. The occasion happens after harvest each year, so the dates differ, it’s normally held late August or early September.
Winter in Marrakech
From mid-January to mid-February there is typically enough snowfall in the Atlas mountains for skiers. The Oukaimden ski resort is just 50 miles from Marrakech. There are a few ski lifts to get a magnificent view.
Places to See in Marrakech
The Djemma el Fna. The expansive central square in the old city (Medina) is considered to the heart of Marrakech. During the day, it’s a great spot to grab a fresh orange juice and a bunch of dates. Toward the evening the Djemma el Fna changes into a performers haven – in case you’re into snake enchanting, juggling, real entertainment like that of medieval times.
Souqs. The souqs are essentially undercover markets that offer everything from chickens to fantastic specialties. The souqs of Marrakech are thought to be among the best in Morocco, so if you like shopping and haggling, you’ll have fun enormously. Regardless of the possibility that you don’t care for shopping, the souks offer an authentic cultural experience you should not miss.
Majorelle Gardens and Museum of Islamic Art. In the 1920’s, French craftsmen Jacques and Louis Majorelle made a very beautiful garden amidst Marrakech’s new town. The Majorelle Gardens are loaded with plants of all shapes and sizes, blooms, ponds, and tranquility. The famous Yves Saint Laurent is the owner today and has constructed his house on the property. Inside the compound is a building called Majorelle which houses the Museum of Islamic Art. This little gallery incorporates some great case of Moroccan tribal workmanship, floor coverings, pottery, and jewelry.
Saadian Tombs. Ruled most of southern Morocco between 16th-17th centuries, Sultan Ahmed al-Mansour of the Saadian made these tombs for himself and his 66 family members. The tombs were in 1917 which we beautifully preserved surrounded by a beautiful garden
The Ramparts of Marrakech. Standing since the 13th century, the walls of the medina which run for 12 miles make for an awesome early morning walk. Every entryway is an art themselves like the Bab ed-Debbagh gate which gives a great photo-opportunity brimming with striking hues.
Palais Dar Si Said (Museum of Moroccan Arts). A castle and museum in one, the palace boasts of a lovely patio where you can unwind and take some photos. The exhibition hall’s showcases are well laid out full of artifacts like ceramics, jewelry, costumes and other relics.
Ali Ben Youssef Medersa and Mosque. The Medersa was constructed during the 16th century by the Saadians and could hold up to 900 religious students. The design is flawlessly preserved, and you can check out the small rooms where the students used to live. The mosque is next to Medersa.
El Bahia Palace. A great example of the Moroccan architecture, this palace built as a harem’s residence possesses heaps of subtle element, curves, light.
How to Get to Marrakech
The international airport of Marrakech has direct flights between London and Paris as well as chartered flights landing from all over Europe. If you are flying from the US, Canada, Asia or somewhere else, you’ll need to change planes in Casablanca. The air terminal is just around 4 miles (15 minutes) from the city and buses and taxis work for the duration of the day
Trains operate daily linking Marrakech and Casablanca. The ride takes around 3 hours. To go to Fez, Meknes or Tangier then you can take the train through Rabat (4 hours from Marrakech).
Supratours, CTM and SATAS are three national bus companies that connect Marrakech and neighboring cities and towns in Morocco
Places to Stay in Marrakech
A standout amongst the lodging options in Marrakech is a Riad, a traditional Moroccan house located in the Medina (old town). Most riads have courtyards with fountain, restaurant or pool. Some riads additionally have terraces where you can have breakfast and get a stunning view of the city.
Reads like the Dar Mouassine, MaisonMnabha and the Hotel Sherazadeare not all costly.
Marrakech has a great number of lavish hotels including the well-known La Mamounia, as featured in the film Sex and the City 2. There are a few famous hotel chains like the Le Meridien and Sofitel.
The most well-known luxury hotel in Marrakech is La Mamounia which Winston Churchill described as “the most beautiful place in the world”.
Travel Guide to Fes (Fez)
Morocco’s most ancient Imperial city, Fes (Fez) and its “old town” is currently a UNESCO World Heritage site. Behind the Medina’s Fes el-Bali’s towering walls is an enchanted, medieval city overflowing with life in each one of its 9000 narrow roads. Fes is the spiritual and cultural capital of Morocco, and you’ll surely encounter its liveliness.
The new part of Fes, called ville nouvelle, was constructed by the French and is entirely distinct from the medina. The wide avenues are lined with modern day shops, and traffic is chaotic. There’s not much to see, but rather if you incline toward bigger Westernized lodgings, this is the place you’d want to stay.
Best time to go to Fes
The best time to visit Fes starts on September running to November and then April to June where it’s not very hot, and there are fewer travelers. The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is normally held in June and is unquestionably worth a travel plan.
Places to see in Fes
Fes el-Bali. The must see the place in Fes is the old medina (Fes el-Bali)and an ideal approach to get around it is hire a guide through your lodging or Riad for an estimated cost of around 250 dirhams. Any longer and you can just depend on agreeable businesspeople to point you in the right heading or a decent guide. The delight of touring the old Fes is walking along the narrow alleys and discovering a donkey drinking from a beautiful tiled fountain, watching Moroccan artisans at work; or ducking into a nearby Hammam and appreciating a decent good scrub.
Tanneries. Fes is well known for its leather items, and the greater part of it originates from the leather bazaar in old Fes. The tanneries have been in operation since medieval times, and little has changed, which makes them completely captivating to visit.
Kairaouine Mosque. Tucked the heart of the medina, the Kairaouine Mosque is enormous yet you can scarcely get a decent look at its size since it’s basically wedged in the middle of several shops and houses. 20,000 individuals can pray here yet unless you’re a Muslim, you won’t have the capacity to go inside. In any case, following the Mosque has as of late opened up again after extensive restoration, when the entryways are open visitors can look in and wonder about the lovely tile work. The library here is a standout amongst the most critical and most established on the planet. You’ll know you’re drawing near to the mosque in the event that you strike your head against a wooden pillar in a rear way. The pillars were put so individuals would bring down their heads when drawing closer the mosque and it likewise prevents donkeys from getting excessively close.
Museums. There are 3 historical galleries in old Fes that are worth visiting and offer a spot to get some rest. The Nejarine Museum of Wooden Arts and Crafts is in an beautiful construction with a decent little rooftop bistro. The Dar Batha Museum has an exceptionally fascinating showcase of artworks, particularly if you appreciate the conventional blue-shaded pottery Fes is well known for. The Belghazi Museum offers comparative fine art to Dar Batha, yet here you can purchase it what you like! The museum is located inside a palace and is a decent, if expensive, spot to appreciate some lunch.
Medersas. There are two Medersas (religious schools) worth going by in old Fes. The MedersaBouInania was constructed during the 1300’s and has some excellent examples of Merenid plasterwork and woodwork.
The Mellah. The Mellah is the old Jewish quarter of Fes, and you can tell its architecture varies from whatever is left of the medina. Houses with overhangs and windows facing the roads are exceptionally un-Muslim-like. The Jewish graveyard is very eye-popping here with white headstones running down the hillside as far as the naked eye can see, some are wavering directly over the edge.
Merenid Tombs. The Merenid Tombs are located outside the walls of old-Fes, and you see them from most rooftops in Fes. Vacationers head up the hill to the tombs to get a decent perspective of Fes as the sun sets. The tombs themselves aren’t much of a view.
How to get to Fes
You can get to Fes by train, bus and plane so there’s no reason not to visit the most mesmerizing city in Morocco. On the off chance that you haven’t ever been to a developing nation, Fes might be a little intense. If visiting Marrakech is part of your plan itinerary, you might need to head there first since it’s somewhat more laid back. Try not to spend all your cash on knickknacks in Marrakech however; you’ll see it’s less expensive in Fes.
Morocco has an efficient railroad line, the trains are comfy and they keep running on time. Fes has one train station and you can get a train from Marrakech (7 hours), Tangier (5 hours), Casablanca (4.5 hours) and Rabat (3.5 hours). You can just book your train tickets in Morocco and it’s wise to book them a day ahead of time.
Morocco’s best bus company is called CTM. They have buses operating out to Fes from major spots in Morocco. In case you’re not on the train line, then a bus is a fine alternative and constantly less expensive than the train (a 4-hour bus trip cost 70 dirhams and a 6-hour ride cost 120 dirhams). CTM has a modernized system for booking so you can book all your transport tickets for anyplace in Morocco at any CTM office.
The Fes’ Saiss Airport is located only 6 miles from the new town center. Some European charter planes fly in directly from Paris and London. Royal Air Moroc has a flight to Fes from Casablanca, which flies twice daily.
Via Grande Taxi
If you plan to visit Meknes and Volubilis you can either take a train or bus or you may also pick the more costly Grande Taxi. Grande taxis don’t have meters, so you have to successfully negotiate the fare before jumping into the taxi. These taxis are regularly shared, so don’t be amazed if more travelers get picked up along the way. The ride takes an hour to get to Meknes from Fes.
Places to Stay in Fes
Rent a traditional house. In case you’re truly up for a unique local experience, try renting out a traditional house. It’s less expensive than staying in Riads, and the houses look just as pretty. This is a perfect choice if you need the comfort of having your refrigerator and the little kitchen.
Riads are traditional homes in old Fes that have been revamped and transformed into little inns. There are typically a set number of rooms or suites constructed around a patio, making the experience more private. Rooftops give great perspectives over the city and make for an awesome spot to have some breakfast and watch the people go about their day to day business.
Travel Guide to Essaouira
Essaouira is known for its laid back coastal town that offers explorers a good break from the hustle bustle of Marrakech, which is only a couple of hours away. The town’s beaches, medina, and fresh catch seafood are what interest travelers to visit Essaouira.
Best time to go
There’s no rain in Essaouira from March to October, so that may be the best time to go. Essaouira’s temperatures don’t get much above 80 Fahrenheit (26 Celsius). If you are not into group tours, then May, June and September would be the best time to visit Essaouira. Winters don’t get excessively frosty, the temperatures can be up to 60 Fahrenheit (15 Celsius) amid the day, excessively chilly, making it impossible to swim or sunbathe, yet at the same time great time to do bargain hunting in the medina.
Essaouira’s biggest annual event, the Gnaoua World Music celebration is held for three days on June. Gnaoua is the descendants of slaves coming from Black Africa, who built up Brotherhood all through Morocco. They are comprised of expert artists (maalem), clairvoyants, metal castanet players, mediums and their devotees. This celebration showcases their abilities and that of global performers who have grasped this type of music and magic.
Places to see in Essaouira
Beach. Essaouira is fairly a small fishing town, and that’s what makes it a charm, it has a holiday and local feel to it. Because the place has strong winds, it’s ideal for water sports like windsurfing, surfing, and kite surfing.
The Medina and Souqs (markets). Shopping here in Essaouira is more relaxed compared to Marrakech and Fes but not necessarily cheaper. The medina is enclosed by walls, and there are five primary gates you can walk and easily navigate as it’s also car free and clean.It is just a small area but avoids the Mellah area of the medina around evening time.
Ramparts and the Port. Essaouira’s medina is walled like numerous old towns in Morocco, and the defenses are entirely amazing as they’re created on the cliffs. Local people and guests appreciate walking around the ramparts as the sun sets. The port is a bustling port loaded with fishing vessels.
Hammams. Essaouira may not have the best hammams, but this is a good place to experience a traditional Moroccan steam bath. The Hammam de la Kasbah is highly recommended by The Lonely Planet Guide to Morocco.
How to get to Essaouira
Most travel to Essaouira by bus simply because there is no train station. There is direct bus operating from Casablanca to Essaouira daily which takes around 6 hours. Buses from Marrakech takes 2.5 hours, and a few bus companies travel this course. The bus station at Bab Doukkala in Marrakech is the place the buses leave from.
Tourists found that Grande Taxis will take them from the Marrakech to Essaouira airport only during the daytime.It will cost you around $80 (50 Euros)for the trip which takes around 3 hours. On the other hand, you can get a taxi at the main bus station in Marrakech and after that jump on a bus to Essaouira.
Places to stay in Essaouira
Riads. Each room inside a Riad is one of a kind. Essaouira has some exceptionally pleasant riads in its medina. Riads are hidden along narrow streets, and you’ll need to ask somebody to help you with your packs since no cars can get to the medina.
Where to Eat
Since Essaouira is a fishing town, you, therefore, need to try its local dishes like grilled sardines. Any eatery along the harbor front offers fresh fish daily. Some of the best eateries are shrouded away in Riads in the medinas. The Place Moulay Hassan on the edge of the port is an incredible spot for a beverage and affordable Moroccan food.
Suggested Restaurants in Essaouira:
Chez Sam at Essaouira’s port has fantastic seafood and fish but not that many local Moroccans.
Riad le Grande Large – known for its flavorful traditional dinners, than its rooms. Fantastic set dinners begin at 12 Euros (around $19), and your fish dishes will, as a rule, be served by live music.
Chez Georges is one of the most costly restaurants in Essaouira. Al fresco dining, so wears something warm.
Things to Consider Before Traveling to Morocco
Planning a trip to Morocco? Before you get on the plane, there are a few things you most likely need to know. Moreover, if this is your first trip abroad, or maybe you just need a reminder here’s a list of questions and answers including what you should do or bring before your trip. If you want to achieve an easy, headache-free Moroccan travel (and who doesn’t?), taking care of basic tasks like researching activities at your destination, managing your finances and getting your traveling bags in order is the key. Do not run off from home without accomplishing and thinking of the following list!
Do I need to get a vaccine before traveling to Morocco?
Although a personal decision, getting a vaccine is not mandatory in Morocco.
Do they accept credit cards? What is their local currency?
The Moroccan Dirham (DEE-rahm). Keep in mind that you will get cash out of an ATM in dirham and that you will regularly be charged for the foreign transaction fee of around 3 percent by your bank, whether you get cash out or swipe your credit card.
What is the language there?
The Moroccans talk a fascinating blend of Arabic, Berber, English and French. Amazingly, you may hear several languages in just one sentence.
While English will probably be understood by many in the bigger urban areas, you may have some language barrier in the rural areas. For this situation, Arabic and French are likely equivalent fallbacks for the bold traveler.
What practices could get me in a bad position in the event that I don’t follow them?
There are likely two major things you ought to be worried about here. One is the way you use your left hand to eat or shake hands. Muslims, Moroccans among them, feel that it’s unclean. Be wary of this custom especially in public. The other thing is that ladies modest dressing. Westerners tends to walk around in tank tops and short. Tourists are advised to dress conservatively.
Do they drink/do drugs/party?
Moroccans, however, devoted Muslims, appear to do the majority of the above. Hashish is common in Morocco, and it’s not that difficult to get liquor at numerous bars in spite of the Muslim being against it. Cities like Casablanca or Marrakech has bars and dance club where there’s a chance to party until the small hours.
A musical form of party called Aissawa, is like a Sufi rave. Sufism, an old enchanted branch of Islam concentrated on lifting the soul, is still practiced all over the world. The celebrated writer Rumi was a Sufi, and numerous Westerners have come to know Sufism through Rumi’s composition. Dancing and spinning is a standout amongst the most well-known practices at the Aissawa, with the sought impact to create an altered state of mind.
Do I require a visa to get in?
All English-speaking countries (except for South Africa) require no visa to enter the nation, and guests can stay up to 90 days.
Will my cellphone work there?
Just like some other countries in the Middle East, it will be far less expensive for you to purchase and get a local number than it will be for you to utilize your phone, which will probably cost many dollars in extra roaming charges and fees before you are finished.
What’s their food over there, and would I be able to eat fresh vegetables and fruits and drink clean water?
Not like the United States and the United Kingdom, which are moving quickly to packaged foods, even for the basic staples like fruit and vegetable produce, Morocco will have only local produce. Thus, the choices will be limited than maybe you are used to, yet the vast majority of it will have been organically grown and harvested and served on your table the way it would have been in the past – quick and with no harmful processing.
In case you’re stressed over nasties in new stuff, do what local people would do: press a decent amount of lemon or lime juice on it. I promise there will be less chemicals on your serving of mixed greens than at McDonald’s at home, and the food will taste new and flavorful. Be savvy — in case you’re eating from a road seller, you’re taking your risks, and they have no controls or even refrigeration now and again. In the event that you have a sensitive tummy at home, pack charcoal tablets and keep in mind on eating yogurt in Morocco to get a few probiotics. Appreciate the local food – that is one of the basic reasons you went! As in most remote nations, you ought to likely stick to filtered water as a safety check – we are regularly not used to the critters in another person’s water supply.
As a country blessed with the highest level of solar insolation compared to other countries, the advantage of having sustainability has been placed on the production and utilization of solar power by developing more solar energy projects in Morocco.
Morocco receives the sunshine for around 3,000 hours annually and reaching 3,600 hours in the desert. Morocco is where one of the world’s largest solar energy projects is to be found. The project value amounts to approximately $9 billion.
Underlining the primary objective of generating 2,000 megawatts of solar energy volume by the year 2020, there are already five solar power stations planned to be constructed which involves the integration of photovoltaic and concentrated technology. Renewable energy agencies are focusing on solar energy who are established to run the projects.
Solar energy power plants and solar power farms are just some of the projects that were on the table to be commissioned with the full completion of the year 2020. The development of the solar power plan will shed more light and will bring Morocco into the spotlight as the frontrunner in solar energy projects in the world.
The completion of the solar projects in Morocco will take up 38% of Morocco’s yearly electricity generation.
Solar energy in Morocco largely dominates the national renewable energy grid
The renewable energy in Morocco accounts to 0.4% of the national energy grid except for biomass.
Renewable energy contributed to almost 10% of electricity production in 2007. The renewable energy industry is backed by solid hydropower sources and solar energy in Morocco with the recently installed 147 MW wind energy parks of which 975 MW is under deployment.
Morocco is on its move to start $13 billion enlargements to its wind, solar and hydroelectric power production scope and related infrastructure that should pave the way in allowing the country to generate the target of 42% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
The determination of the government on increasing the solar power by developing solar energy projects in Morocco as well as other renewable energy projects was brought about by the figures shown in a statistical studies, Morocco’s oil amounted at around USD1.4 billion in subsidies from January to September 2009 which is 57.9% lower compared to the year of 2008.
In November 2009, Morocco declared it would set up two gigawatts of solar capacity by 2020. One of the largest solar energy projects in Morocco and the world has been launched with an estimated cost of USD 9 billion. The primary objective is to produce 2,000 megawatts of solar generation capacity by the year 2020. Five solar power stations are to be constructed. A public-private venture, Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN), has been founded to be in charge of the project.
MASEN: catalyst of solar projects in Morocco
The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) is a limited company with public funding which was effectively established in March 2010. It was created under the guidelines of the Law no. 57-09 for the enactment of the integrated Moroccan Solar Plan, creation of solar energy projects in Morocco and the endorsement of solar resources in every facet.
Its capital is equally secured by the Hassan II Fund for Economic and Social Development, the Moroccan State, the the Société d’Investissements Energétiques (SIE), and the Office National de l’Eau et l’Electricité (ONEE). MASEN has three major missions. First is developing solar projects in Morocco such as solar power plants. Second is to add to the development of a national proficiency; and lastly, operate as a compelling drive of the proposal on the regional and international scheme.
A historical mission of MASEN is to design and develop solar power plants as one of the foundations of its innovative model. This movement meets the requirements of the National Office of Electricity, and consequently the Moroccan consumers. Five spots have already been recognized to accommodate NOOR solar project in Morocco.
The said strategy assimilates thoroughness and innovations, deciding on what sites are applicable for the commissioning of the plant, through technical design. On the other hand, partners are chosen through an international selection procedure to entertain proposals and offers in line with the international standards and, primarily, to optimize the price per kWh. Lastly, each plant has unprejudiced institutional provisions and inventive financial structuring which leads to a most favorable allocation of risks.
The emergence of the Moroccan solar ecosystem and more solar projects in Morocco entail the materialization of a national expertise and MASEN’s mission to be part of the cause.
These can be achieved by supporting the development of a strong and competitive industrial sector. Another way is by building strong partnerships to uphold the training of competent resources, and support research and development to help improve the performance of solar technologies in general which will be useful in developing solar projects in Morocco.
MASEN contributes as an influence for proposal on national and international plans for the issues of energy, environment, and climate change.
As a leading international agency, MASEN aims to promote the use of green energy, to bring about deliberations and to take the first step in designing any solution to improve energy transition.
The agency’s intelligent works and strategic partnerships enable it to positively facilitate the realization of actions for the fight against climate change and promoting the use of green energy in Morocco.
Basically, MASEN is the company which is under private law with public capital that aims to act as a vehicle for solar projects in Morocco and showcases the solar resource in all its characteristics.
With the strong operational exploitation of NOOR, MASEN is now a major performer in the solar power industry due to its accomplishment in formulating a ground-breaking paradigm, which is advantageous for a well-round approach.
MASEN supports the growth of an integrated and viable Moroccan solar network, facilitated by the operation of solar projects in Morocco and other solar power plants like NOOR all the way through the United Kingdom.
MASEN is a catalyst for alternative solutions, considerate to natural resources, which is significant to energy and environmental or socio-economic perspectives.
For the implementation of solar projects in Morocco, MASEN exhibits a strong model for the conservation of the environment at the service of future generations.
MASEN has invited different companies and organizations to submit their expressions of interest in the design, financing, construction, operation, and maintenance of the first of the five planned solar projects which is the the 500-megawatt solar power station/plant in the southern city of Ouarzazate.
The first of the solar projects in Morocco’s solar power plan was commissioned in 2014, with the expected full commissioning of the whole project in 2019.
Once completed, these solar projects in Morocco are expected to produce and distribute 18% of Morocco’s yearly electricity generation.
Morocco Promotes an Integrated National Solar Power Industry
The development of solar projects in Morocco is a key success with the development of NOOR plan as a requirement for the deployment, positioning and confirmation of the Kingdom as a key player in the field of the solar power industry.
The initiatives of the government must also allow the blossoming skills and abilities of Moroccans in the solar industry, with the aspiration to become a globally competitive and high value-added industry. The development of solar projects in Morocco must largely benefit the local economy.
NOOR solar power plants introduce an element of industrial integration, allowing the involvement of Moroccan private companies and even local government in their success and the development of their infrastructures. MASEN encouraged the Moroccan manufacturers to participate and become more and more interested in the future of the solar sector. Their contribution and dedication to the developers have shaped a local integration rate of around 30% for NOOR I in Ouarzazate and is expected to reach 35% for NOOR II and NOOR III.
MASEN has also endorsed the assembly of the Solar Cluster which is basically an association whose mission is to contribute to the development of own socio-economic sector. In this regard, it functions to form synergies between stakeholders of the green sector, both public and private actors in order to push the emergence of a competitive green industrial chain in Morocco. The Cluster plot – aims to develop skills and improve industrial capacity, facilitating the connection among the various players in the sector and has the support of distinguished international partners such as the ICC or the Giz.
Profound Research and Development Efforts paved a way to the creation of more solar projects in Morocco
The key component of the integrated energy development, research and development are at the core of the diverse solar projects in Morocco which are undertaken by MASEN.
This methodology answers the two objectives. The first is to put up a Moroccan framework technology in the subject of solar energy through two strategic objectives such as the Photovoltaic and the CSP, and employ research excellence in the solar projects in Morocco to prop up and keep up industrial activity.
Much progress still needs to be achieved in the thermodynamic and photovoltaic industries including the storage technologies, to promote more improvement in the conversion of sunlight into electrical energy capacity to guarantee adaptability of usage and cut down the costs of electricity consumption.
Giving an efficient and most advantageous testing environment, the demonstration platform of MASEN’s R & D will facilitate researchers and manufacturers to assess, train and progress throughout their effort to achieve commercial maturity.
Eventually, the purpose is to drive an ecosystem that is conducive to the development of solar projects in Morocco and allow more innovation in the solar sector, causal to the creation of value through revolutionary activities.
In 2014, the World Bank shouldered a $159 million financial requirement of a solar project in Morocco. The project is no other than the “Noor-Ouarzazate Concentrated Solar Power Project”. The financing is proposed to magnify and support the development of a Moroccan solar energy complex with the aim of augmenting the complex’s energy production. As of October 2014, the complex’s production capacity reached to 160 megawatts with the plan of increasing it up to 350 megawatts.
The NOOR in the face of solar projects in Morocco, developed by MASEN has the desire to generate solid progressive externalities, while taking full advantage of the collaborations between the diverse stakeholders. These positive externalities must create the first benefit which is building power plants in naturally unconventional areas.
The action of MASEN is to confirm the assimilation of the solar complex in their nearby environment, securing optimal value to people through developmental projects in the short and medium time frame. It is useful in creating a local impetus around the core to assist in the economic and social development of these specific areas.
The local development strategy of MASEN is assembled to the necessities of the areas. In Ouarzazate, the strategy caters around the following three areas of effort. The first is to make the other territories in Morocco accessible with the construction of telecommunications infrastructure, and the development of water and energy networks. The second, is its influence to the improvement of social wellbeing by providing access to health care and education, and a program to improve the employability of local people through conventions and training. Last but not the least is the development of dynamic territories with the strengthening of organizations, stimulation of entrepreneurship, cultural activities and the carrying out works and services related to the plant.
MASEN’s respect for the environment is a major component of its interests, in the construction of solar projects in Morocco. It is in the seeking stage of the sites for these solar projects when the process where a series of pre-qualification studies are performed in order to take into consideration the environmental dimension and providing methods for these projects to be developed and must be effectively integrated into its environment.
During these periods, the operation of an environmental management plan will be launched to observe the implementation of alleviation measures in the previous studies, and allow the project to be set up in the best environmental conditions.
MASEN’s inclination to conform to national and international environmental standards guides it throughout the development of solar projects in Morocco.
Solar Energy accounts to great extent of Morocco’s Renewable Energy grid
Even though there is an enormous prospective for solar projects in Morocco and wind power in Morocco, it is still not safe to confirm the appropriate time and situation when Morocco could embark in trading renewable electricity to other parts of the world specifically to Europe. With the development of the 400 billion dollar Desertec project, it is indistinguishable if the prearranged investment of the Desertec confederation in solar power through the Northern region of Africa could spread into Morocco or the amount of power which is required and could finally be distributed to Europe. Desertec’s campaigns probably need further feasibility studies for several years.
Having the advantage of being the only African country to possess a power cable connected to Europe, Morocco can gain from the major project, Desertec Industrial Initiative.
Whether the realization of these solar energy projects in Morocco still waits to be seen but distributing solar energy could have alleviating effects inside and among countries, according to the Moroccan Solar Energy Agency (MASEN). Deliberations are enduring with Tunisia, and energy exports in the north across the Mediterranean continues to be a key objective, in spite of the downfall of the Desertec project in 2013, a German plan to source 15% of Europe’s energy from North African desert solar by 2050.
Renewable energy has played an important part in ONE’s improvement in its initiatives which was revealed thirteen years ago. The objective of the plan is to distribute electricity to more than 70% of rural districts by 2008, at the same time augmenting the segment of renewable energy in the energy grid by 0.24% starting from the year 2003 reaching to 10% within eight years.
The strategy involved the development of two innovative wind projects. The first was a 60MW wind power facilities located in Essaouira, whereas the second wind project with the capacity of 140 MW was developed near Tangiers. The Essaouira facility was commissioned in 2007. The plan also involved another solar project in Morocco which is a 250 megawatts solar heat structure developed d’Ain Beni Mathar, where 30 megawatts of its power generation will be produced from energy emitted by the sun.
Aside from solar projects in Morocco, the said Kingdom also has supplementary renewable energy reserves that may possibly be established due to its four continuing waterways and several dams with the capability to produce hydropower. Eleven years ago, ONE developed a USD27.6 million project to provide solar power to thirty-seven thousand rural residences by 2007. On the same month in 2002, a solar project in Morocco was also awarded to a conglomerate steered by a French energy group.
Another company based in France, which was undertaking the development of a high-speed rail that will connect Tangier and Casablanca is also awarded another solar project in Morocco which entailed the construction of power production plant with a production capacity of 470 MW to empower the connecting railway. Although the majority of the volume is produced from a gas integrated cycle incineration, 20MW of it comes from the energy collected from the sun.
The National policy which gave birth to a Major Solar Project in Morocco
In November 2009, a solar project in Morocco was announced which was proclaimed to produce 38% of the MENA region’s mounted power production by the year 2020. The project value is $9 billion and the funds required for the development comes from both government and private companies.
The launching event was graced with the presence of Hillary Clinton, former Secretary of State of United States of America together with the ruler of Morocco. The project stressed the development of five solar projects in Morocco which includes construction of power creation establishments around Morocco which is expected to create 2,000MW of electricity in year 2020.
The project is expected to contribute by way of power production which would equal to the present electricity expenditure of the city of Casablanca. Germany and the World Bank have conveyed their disposition to partake in the formation of Morocco’s solar energy generation plan which the country has agreed to accomplish. Aside from the solar projects in Morocco, Germany is playing its role in the fulfillment of a water-desalination project.
In February 2008, Morocco, as a country which imports its energy, has unveiled the National Renewable Energy and Efficiency Plan to discover another source of energy to cater to 15 percent of the total local needs and maximize the benefits of energy-conservation techniques. The program is projected to produce over forty thousand jobs and attract investments amounting to more than €4.5 billion by the year 2020.
In 2001, The National Plan for the Development of Solar Thermal Energy was created, intended to develop a solar project in Morocco by installing four hundred forty thousand solar-motorized water boilers in 2012, where 235,000 of the heaters are already finalized. The Moroccan administration proposes to yield forty per cent of its energy extracted from renewable means by year 2020.
Morocco declared the plan for the establishment of a new site specializing in information-focused services to support studies and exercises in green technology. The training facility is a portion of a USD219 million clean energy park development project that was constructed in Oujda City to sustain the investments of the companies belonging to private sectors as well as the companies in the renewable energy industry.
Various schemes are devoted to renewable energy for instance, the solar projects in Morocco. Other renewable projects that need to be mentioned are the power plants, solar water heaters, water pumps, pumping stations, hydraulic turbines, air-cooling system and waste recycling. Renewable Energy is considered the strength of numerous commercial and public agendas, take for example the occasion of electricity distribution in the rural regions of Morocco, which entails setting up individual systems integrated with photovoltaic technology which contribute to seven percent of energy fabrication.
Conjecture of Morocco as a Renewable energy producer
Energy supplies are substantial. Forecasts evaluation showed wind energy prospective at six gigawatts and underline solid promise for biomass development.
The prospects in this subjects are great in the middle of influential investors, commercial performers and also consumers. The four main issues which could affect motivations and official methodologies are lack of regulations; absence of a dedicated agency, and minimal priority of the renewable energy and its productivity for domestic improvement agendas committed to nurturing responsiveness and to secure workable necessity in Renewable Energy and energy proficiency innovations and facilities, and also the taxation which hinders provide eye-catching market conditions.
Solar Project in Morocco: Ouarzazate solar plant
The Moroccan Agency for Solar Energy (MASEN) opens its doors for companies and organizations who are interested to undertake the designing, building, management, up keeping and funding of the 500 MW solar project in Morocco. The project involves the construction of a solar power facility in the southern township of Ouarzazate.
The project is the first among the five to be developed solar power stations that utilize both CSP and Photovoltaic equipment. The first phase of NOOR 1 which is 160 MW was granted to a group, headed by an energy company based in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, which will vend the electricity made for USD0.19 per kilowatt hour. Other major banking institutions also agreed to co-finance the solar project in Morocco. The setting up of Noor 1 was accomplished and was brought online in February 2016. During this period, the outstanding two stages, the second and third Noor spreading at 6,000 acres were projected to be ready adding in another 580 megawatts of capacity by the year 2018.
The construction of these solar projects in Morocco formally commenced on the 10th of May 2013. The entire project is allocated among three parts. The NOOR 1 is a 160 megawatt converged solar project; NOOR 2 which is a 200 megawatt parabolic mirror plant; and NOOR 3 which is a 150MW solar trough plant.
Solar Projects in Morocco shows its resolution to become a solar superpower
The city of Ouarzazate found in the Kingdom of Morocco is well adjusted to humongous creations. Located at the verge of the Sahara desert and the center of the MENA region’s “Ouallywood” film productions it was chosen as a host to extravagant location filming of well noted Hollywood films.
Ouarzazate is known as a trading city, which leads to it being called as the “door of the desert”. It is the center for another smash hit as the heart of the major solar project in Morocco. A development of four interconnected solar power plants that, together with energy generated from the water and wind, will aid to supply approximately partial of Morocco’s required electricity from green reserves by 2020 with its excess to be exported to European countries. The plan is considered the significant beam in Morocco’s desires to utilize its unexploited sandy landscapes to become a solar superpower worldwide.
When the entire complex is completed, it would take the title of the biggest concentrated solar power (CSP) plant in the world. The introduction of mirror technology is less prevalent and more costly compared to the photovoltaic panels which are currently common on roofs, however it has the upper hand of being capable of unceasing production of power although the sun already set.
The possibility for development of solar projects in Morocco and using solar power from the desert has been recognized for years. During the time of the post-Chernobyl nuclear accident which happened in 1986, a physicist from Germany had analyzed that the world’s sand landscapes obtain take enough energy for a limited time to be responsible for civilization’s power requirements for a whole year. The only question that arouses that time was the method of securing that power and carrying it to the locations where there are plenty of people where it is compulsory.
As engineers finished installing the final bits to the first phase of Noor project, it shines as its five hundred thousand curve-shaped solar panels glimmer through the desert horizon. The one hundred eighty rows of the solar panels keep an eye on the sun as it trails through the skies, droning gently every few minutes as their shadows sneak further east.
Once these four solar projects in Morocco are completed, they will cover a space similar to the land area of the city of Rabat, and produce five hundred eighty megawatts of electricity, sufficient to distribute power to a million households.
According to the environment minister of Morocco, there is a big expectation that solar energy possibly will mimic the same effect that oil fabrication had in the last century in the region. But then again, the USD9 billion (£6bn) solar projects in Morocco to make its deserts prosperous was prompted by more important matters.
Morocco is not an oil fabricator, and it imports from overseas 94% of our energy from fossil fuels which has a big toll on the budget of the government. Furthermore, it also used to subsidize fossil fuels which have a substantial cost, and the emergence of the potential for solar energy is something that Morocco couldn’t ignore.
All parabolic mirrors are installed 12 meters high and concentrated on a steel pipeline which serves as a heat transport tool that has the capability to absorb heat up to 393 degree Celsius as it trails along the trench before looping into a heat engine. Inside the heat engine, it is incorporated with water to produce a vapor that transforms energy-generating turbines.
The heat is basically composed of an artificial thermal oil solution that is propelled towards a heat tank comprising melted sands that can to open in 2017 stock heat energy for three hours, which is used by the power plants to deliver power to homes during the night. The mirrors are spread out and well distributed in order to reduce impairment from the sand being carried by the hot desert winds.
Solar energy will be accounted for one third of Morocco’s renewable energy grid by year 2020, with wind power and hydro power taking the same share respectively. The government has been very proud of the said solar projects in Morocco and the four solar plants are considered most significant in the world.
The technicians handling the second and third solar power plants which are scheduled to operate in 2017 have shared that these plants can store energy for up to eight hours – setting off the opportunity of whole round availability and accessibility of energy in the region, and the neighboring region.
The main test that these technicians have to conquer is the possibility to conclude the project at the specified time with their performance level that these solar projects in Morocco is demanding.
On the other hand, with the completion of the first stage of the solar project, Morocco is targeting greater international goals. The Kingdom is already engaged in the setting up of a great pressure transportation lines to service the whole of southern Morocco together with Mauritania. But according to studies, the project’s definitive impression will go farther and broader even as far as the Middle East.
Renewable energy in Morocco and the policies for subsidies
It is undeniable that it is promising to export energy to Europe through the solar energy projects in Morocco but the first step to being done is the establishment of we interconnectors that are not yet commissioned according to a spokesperson od MASEN. In detail, Morocco would have to set up linkages, which would not run through like the current line in Spain, and then commence exporting.
Spain has barred itself in developing fresh solar projects due to the shortage of interconnectors to diffuse the energy to France. The European Union has set their standards to ensure the 10% of the power of the group of countries can be carried through abroad via the link by 2020.
Morocco is at the avante-garde of solar. This claim is supported by the development of the USD9 billion Noor complex of which several international institutions have backed up the project development. Unrevealed energy grants from Morocco’s ruler, King Mohammed VI, have prohibited the expenses from being levied to the end users.
A month prior to the launching, more than a thousand workers, the majority are Moroccans are still sprinting to repair electric wires, taking down frameworks and wrapping insulation and covering the steel pipelines. They stir past wearing their overalls, in the background of the Atlas Mountains. Abundant engineering hats, and other safety equipment exhibited an ambiance compared to a theatrical camp. It is closely seem like the groundwork for a grand performance.
Preparations are almost completed and the epic openings of these solar projects in Morocco will be witnessed by the eyes of the interested global audience. The construction has been done and it is now time to appreciate these structures come across when they kick off operation.
Administrators are strongly conscious of the actions they are undertaking in what the most is forward-thinking renewable energy program in the Middle East and North African region. This could involve water desalination in the future, in a country that is gradually being stricken by drought as the climate warms. In the intervening time, Morocco is fixated on developing solar energy projects and utilizing solar energy to meet its own requirements for resource impartiality.
The Kingdom of Morocco gets the eyes of other nations as it goes green
From the wind to solar energy projects in Morocco, it is easy to say that the kingdom which has been importing its energy resources is currently on the move in becoming a major producer and supplier of renewable energy.
like 2015, the most humid year on record, came to an end, and the observers are evaluating the conclusion of this year’s climate change summit in Paris COP21, a grand and large-scale solar energy project in Morocco, known as “Noor” which means light in Arabic, is now on the verge of inauguration.
It is the product of the North African kingdom’s intricate research and development efforts in recent years to ease its dependency on trade in energy, which has been a lingering encumbrance on state capitals.
With a prospective production capacity of 580 megawatts (MW), the $9 billion Noor project is anticipated to cover an area compared to a city with the size of the Rabat, which is the capital city of Morocco and distributes the electricity to 1 million homes.
The first phase of the said solar projects in Morocco called Noor 1, is slated to commence its operation by the end of 2015. Noor 2 and Noor 3 will respectively follow suit in year the 2016 and 2017. On the other hand, Noor 4 which will utilize photovoltaic technology in order to transform solar energy into electricity is open to tenders.
The conclusion of the $660 million Noor 1 solar plant suggested that it will be operating only a few weeks after the closing of COP21, highlighting Morocco’s determination to meet production targets that it declared during the conference. It also facilitates in the preparation of the platform for the upcoming COP22, which will be hosted by Morocco, and voice out its endeavors to be in the front row among the countries who are shifting to renewable energy and diverging away from energy import dependency.
The government seeks to realize an extra capacity of 6,760 MW during the time frame of 2015 to 2025, of which 3,120 MW comes from solar energy projects in Morocco; while 2,740 MW and 900 MW will be generated from the wind and hydroelectric projects respectively.
Clean surroundings in the midst of growing energy exigency
The North African country is said to be the major importer of energy in the Middle East and North African (MENA) region. Proved to exhibit a rising energy consumption of about six percent yearly for the past 10 years, Morocco has had to discover another energy sources to cater to the increasing energy demand of its increasing population at the same time maintaining the cleanliness and balance in its environment. In this regard, the need to develop solar projects in Morocco arise from the surface of sustainability concerns.
Energy dependency affected the government’s investments in the downside in other sectors brought by the record-high global oil prices in 2014.
In December 2014, Morocco instated Africa’s biggest wind farm with a production capacity of 300 MW. The wind farm signifies around 40 percent of the country’s over-all wind capacity in commercial operation to date.
The country already has wind energy production of more than 800 MW in operation. Another 550 MW wind energy project is under development and 850 MW is under contract, whereas a supplementary 1,000 MW of capacity is premeditated between 2021 and 2025.
Regarding the hydroelectric power, Morocco, which currently has an installed electrical capacity of 1,770 MW, 460 MW of which coming from energy transferred through pumping stations, has programmed with a 350 MW project at Abdelmoumen, in the region of Agadir, which is expected to come to life in 2020.
These solar power projects in Morocco, which are agreed to be the world’s largest solar power production facility, was the ideal answer to Morocco’s heavy energy dependency once all phases are fulfilled.
Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in Morocco
Morocco’s financial plan to subsidize fuel has developed radically over the past decade, and with oil budget prices deteriorating as the country leans toward alternative energy sources, the Moroccan government has now taken the daring resolution to close down diesel subsidies which ended a recurrently steep and unsustainable weight on the country’s economy.
The government can now concentrate on realizing the country’s intention of enhancing its clean energy productivity by creating more solar energy projects in Morocco.
Morocco has sworn during the COP21 to lessen its greenhouse emissions at a minimum of 13 percent by year 2030. Even though it came as a relatively humble approach, its clean energy vision is aspiring which aims to meet 52 percent of its total power needs by 2030, which is equal to 6,000 MW. To meet this goal, investments have to be allocated to the electricity and clean energy sectors, which would open the doors of business opportunities to the international and overseas companies.
The first phase of the Ouarzazate solar project in Morocco will likely to give way to the reduction of annual CO2 emissions by 240,000 tons. And once the second and third phase are finished and operations, emission should be lessened to 522,000 tons per year, or 1 percent of its CO2 emissions in 2011 which is 56.5 million tons, according to the Ministry of Energy in Morocco.
Development of solar projects in Morocco creates more jobs
The industry of renewable energy in Morocco is also helped in the development of job creation and industrialization, promoting economic growth. Noor 1 alone has created about 1,000 jobs and will reinforce local businesses where this solar project in Morocco is being developed.
The Moroccan government took another significant action towards cleaning up the environment after the parliament ratified a draft bill to ban the production, importation, selling and usage of plastic bags starting July 2016, although still allowing definite types of bags such as trash, freezer bags and those for agricultural practice. The move could not have come too soon, since Morocco is the second-largest plastic bag consumer in the world, with an annual usage of 26 billion plastic bags. The law can be viewed as an attachment to the national drive of boosting eco-tourism in the country.
Despite the fact that environmental organizations conveyed their approval at the verdict, the proposal did have its detractors as workforces in the plastic industry assumed it as an intimidation to their presence in the market, with an assessed loss of 50,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The government has never made any move that could find any definite substitute for plastic bags. Decomposable paper bags could be a substitute but would entail displacing of trees and a great deal of energy for their production. The government needs to fastidiously set out a sturdy and sustainable substitute to plastic bags. Morocco has in the past prohibited the use of black plastic bags, which were a serious health and environmental threat.
It is obvious that discovering the ideal answers will not come as a breeze or without trials. But there are tales of accomplishment with regards to solar and wind energy for example in Germany, and in the MENA region possibly Morocco should be regarded as one of the shining models to admire.