Friday, April 19, 2019

Increase in Morocco's Tourism Numbers

Nearly 1.59 million tourists visited Morocco between January and February 2019, up 7.6% compared to the same period a year earlier (+ 9% for foreign tourists and + 5% for Moroccans residing abroad), according to the Observatoire du Tourisme

The main issuing markets saw an increase in arrivals during this period, in particular France (+ 12%), Italy (+ 11%), the United Kingdom (+ 10%), Spain ( + 9%), Germany (+ 6%), Holland (+ 7%) and Belgium (+ 3%).

The total nights spent in classified tourist accommodation establishments, recorded a rise of 2% at the end of February, with Marrakech and Agadir alone generating 60% of total nights. Other destinations have performed well, in particular, Tangier, Fez, Essaouira and Ouarzazate with respective increases of 7%, 2%, 9% and 2%.

The destinations of Tangier, Essaouira and Fes experienced increases in terms of nights of 12%, 8% and 3% respectively in February 2019, while Casablanca and Rabat recorded decreases of 6% and 7%.


Thursday, April 18, 2019

Work continues on the Old Cinema Batha

Back on February 3rd, The View From Fez reported on the closing of the old Cinema Batha (Cinema Boujloud). Although there is still no information about the future of the building, we can report that a massive amount of work is underway.

The central area of the old Boujloud cinema is now a forest of scaffolding and support props, but the only sign of activity was a solitary stonemason at work.

We will update this story when we get more information about the destiny of the old cinema.


Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Morocco To Put Clocks Back For Ramadan

Morocco will return to GMT on Sunday, May 5th. The legal time will be put back 60 minutes. This transition to GMT will coincide with the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan.

Saad Eddine El Othmani has signed a decree on Tuesday to report the return to standard time on 5 May. According to this text, which TelQuel Arabi was able to consult, the change will take place on the night of May 4 to 5 at 3 o'clock in the morning. This change of time should coincide with the beginning of the month of Ramadan.

The order of the Prime Minister specifies that the Kingdom will return to the time zone GMT +1, on June 9th. The text will be published in the Official Bulletin in the coming days, in order to enter into force.


Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Ensemble Les Turqueries To Perform in Fez

The Ensemble Les Turqueries is above all a human encounter - five passionate young musicians from different worlds, with a common desire to share and meet old European music and traditional Eastern music. Large cities like Venice and Constantinople are historical witnesses. Music and instruments have also traveled this way. As a result, we find many guidelines common to both aesthetics: the filiation between the oud and the lute in the first place, but also dance, improvisation and ornamentation ...

Leo Fabre-Cartier
Sacha Dessandier-Volkoff, Baroque Cello and Vocals
Véronique Bouilloux, Baroque violin
Simon Waddell, Guitare baroque, Théorbe
Thibaut Rocheron, Percussion
Leo Fabre-Cartier, Oud

Tuesday, April 16, 7 pm, Dar Batha
Free admission
limit of places available

As part of the Cultural Season France-Morocco 2019


King Mohammed VI Visits Fez

King Mohammed VI visited, on April 15, several projects carried out as part of the rehabilitation and enhancement programs of the old medina of Fes, and proceeded to the launch of the restoration work of the museum "Al Batha" and of construction of a museum of Jewish culture
Crowds gathering in Rcif for the King's visit

The area around Rcif was under lock-down yesterday in preparation for the visit of Morocco's King. Crowds began to assemble three to four hours before the scheduled visit. Bus loads of soldiers, security police and Royal Gendarmes arrived and took up positions along the route.

Sadly, for those who waited so long there was only the briefest of glimpses as the King's motorcade drove by.

Security was tight as the King's motorcade approached

His Majesty went on to visit or launch projects intended to preserve the national heritage and to promote the influence of the thousand year old city of Fez.

The projects aim to ensure sustainable and responsible development of quality tourism with high human and cultural value, to improve the quality of life of residents, to preserve the urban and architectural character and enhance the heritage, tangible and intangible, of the spiritual capital of the Kingdom.

The sovereign visited Hammam Seffarine, restored by the Ministry of Habous and Islamic Affairs for a total budget of 9.6 million dirhams, and Fondouk Staouniyine, whose rehabilitation work required investments of 50 million dirhams. dirhams (financed as part of a partnership between Morocco and the United States through the Millennium Challenge Account (MCC) with a contribution of about 50 pc of the budget) and enabled the conversion of Fondouk into an Innovation Centre and site for the exchange of ideas dedicated to weaving trades.

King Mohammed VI

Mohammed VI also visited the development project of the handicraft and entertainment complex Place Lalla Yeddouna, at a cost of 333 million dirhams financed under the same partnership, to which the MCC contributed 105 million dirhams.

This project involved the rehabilitation of 11 traditional buildings, the construction of 7 new ones, the development of the Oued El Jawahir River and outdoor spaces, and the restoration of the historic Bin Lamdoune Bridge. Of the 18 buildings in this complex, only one is still unfinished and should be ready by the end of the current month. The delay recorded is due to archaeological finds.

The king also visited the Lalla Yeddouna Heritage and Information Centre "Fes: Heritage Centre" (500,000 DH), a space for communication and public awareness of the importance and the heritage value of the Medina of Fez, as well as on the various actions and initiatives undertaken for the safeguarding of this Cité musée.

Subsequently, the king proceeded to the launch of the restoration work of the museum "Al Batha" (15.6 million dirhams) and construction in Fez Jdid of a museum of the Jewish culture (10 million dirhams).

These two projects are part of the complementary program to develop the Medina of Fez 2018-2023 which mobilises investments in the order of 583 million dirhams and whose agreement was signed in front of the King on May 14 2018 at the Royal Palace in Rabat. This program provides for the restoration of 11 historic monuments and emblematic sites, 10 places of worship (mosques and Koranic schools), 37 places of well-being (hammams, fountains and sanitary facilities), the rehabilitation of 39 craft sites and traditional trade, improving the urban landscape and the built environment (15 sites), as well as the rehabilitation of Dar Al Makina.

The motorcade sails past Cinema Amal in Rcif

Also in the context of strengthening the tourist attractiveness of the medina of Fes and improving the living conditions of its inhabitants, a program of development of car parks, rehabilitation of public spaces, and installation of an information device is being produced.

This program, with an overall budget of 400 million dirhams, aims to improve accessibility to the old medina through the development of eight car parks (Bab El Hamra, Bab Jdid, Bin Lamdoune, Oued Ezzhoun , Bab El Kissa, Ain Azelitine, Bab Boujloud, Sidi Bounafaâ) with a capacity of nearly 3,200 places, paving roads (23 km), addressing streets, alleys, squares and plots in the Medina of Fez and installation of information kiosks serving residents, visitors and tourists.

The work on the Bab El Kissa and Bin Lamdoune car parks has already begun, while the development projects for the Bab Boujloud, Sidi Bounafa, Bab Jdid and Ain Azelitine car parks are in the award phase. The bidding documents for the award of the contracts for the parking of Bab El Hamra and Oued Ezzhoun are in the preparation phase.


Free Photography Lecture in Fez

Photography Lecture
Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 PM at the ALIF RIAD  

In this session we are going to present “Insider-Fototour,” one of the finest organizations dedicated to photography in Germany.  Please bring 10 of your best photographs on USB for a discussion over a cup of tea. 

ALC–ALIF Photography Club 


Saturday, April 06, 2019

RAM connects Casablanca and Athens

Morocco's national airline RAM launched on April 4, an air service with Athens (Greece). 

According to Habiba Laklalech, deputy director general of RAM, "this new service will connect Athens with 33 destinations in Africa and all other destinations in the United States, Canada and Brazil, among others. This link will also strengthen tourist flows between Greece and Morocco and connect Athens to more than 19 destinations in Morocco.

Indeed, the company offers two flights per week between its base in Casablanca-MohammedV and the Athens-Eleftherios Venizelos airport, operated by Boeing 737-700 and Embraer E-90 (with capacities of 114 and 98 seats, respectively). can accommodate 12 passengers in Business class. Departures are scheduled for Thursday and Saturday at 11:00 (GMT) to arrive at 15:05 (GMT), the return flights leaving the Greek capital at 16:05 (GMT) to land at 20:30 (GMT).

To promote its new service, the RAM in partnership with the Embassy of Morocco, organised a large welcoming ceremony at the Athens International Airport. The event was attended by representatives of several Moroccan and Greek media. Enough to bring an air link but also diplomatic progress, promoting "the promotion of tourism and economic exchanges between operators of the two countries," said Samir Addahre, ambassador of Morocco in Athens.


Wednesday, April 03, 2019

Air Arabia Offers Flights to Prague

The low cost airline, Air Arabia, Morocco, has launched a new route Casablanca-Prague with two flights per week, Monday and Thursday

The airline's customers will now be able to book flights from Casablanca to Prague, Pisa (Italy), Lisbon and Tunis.

As for the Casablanca-Tunis and Casablanca-Lisbon routes, these return flights will be operated at a frequency of three weekly flights Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Pisa will be served, with two flights (return) per week, Monday and Thursday.

Departing from Tangier, passengers will also be able to reach the city of Lyon for the first time with two weekly flights on Monday and Thursday.

In addition to these five new lines, Air Arabia Morocco has also densified this summer, its existing network by adding additional frequencies to Brussels from Tangiers, Nador, Fez and Casablanca, to Barcelona from Tangier, Nador and Casablanca and to London from Tangier.

The Air Arabia Maroc network was also strengthened by flights to Madrid from Tangiers, to Paris from Tangiers and Fez, to Lyon from Casablanca and Fez, and to Montpellier from Marrakech, Fez and Nador.

Inaugural flight of the new Casablanca-Amman direct line

A Royal Air Maroc (RAM) plane landed Monday night at Amman International Airport, inaugurating the new direct line between Casablanca and the Jordanian capital, which will be operated three times a week.