Thursday, July 23, 2015

Marhaba! 1.48 Million Moroccans Come Home for Holidays

More than 1.48 million Moroccans living abroad (MRE) have returned to Morocco since the launch of the operation "Marhaba 2015" on June 5,  according to Anis Birou, the Minister for Moroccans Living Abroad and Business Migration

Anis Birou

The number of MRE having returned to Morocco has increased by 21.41% compared to the same period of 2014, Anis Birou says that the Ministry has taken all necessary measures to improve the arrival and departure of Moroccans living abroad. Various areas have been improved including the mobilisation of 23 vessels, an increase in air traffic and the establishment of 150 bus routes compared with 119 in 2014.

According to ministry statistics, the number of passengers arriving via boats is estimated at some 72,136, with around 20 087 vehicles per day. Authorities intend to mobilise an extra two boats during peak periods or in the event of failure of one of the boats from the main fleet. The objective is to ensure the flow of traffic at the ports.

The national airline, RAM, has added additional flights and engaged large capacity aircraft to ensure passenger comfort. Unfortunately for the airline, the delays and overbooking for passengers travelling from New York have done little to enhance an already poor reputation.

The 150 bus lines cover the European countries with a strong presence of the Moroccan community, such as France, Spain, Italy and Belgium. According to ministry figures, 72 foreign companies and 42 Moroccan companies are operating those lines.

In order to improve the running of the operation, the authorities have focused on strengthening security measures at all levels, with 2,300 police officers involved.  Some 500 police officers and 670 auxiliary forces have been mobilised in the various border points and rest areas. Also, scanners and detection equipment are deployed at the borders.

For Moroccans going on holiday in their own country, the impact of the huge influx is felt mostly on the roads. Traffic is particularly heavy at the moment and with the heatwave continuing, many are choosing to drive late at night. Drivers are advised to keep their speed down, drink plenty of water and take frequent rest stops

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