Marrakesh is the fourth largest city in the Kingdom of Morocco. It is the capital of the mid-southwestern region of Marrakesh-Safi. It is west of the foothills of the Atlas Mountains. Marrakesh is 580 km (360 mi) southwest of Tangier, 327 km (203 mi) southwest of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, 239 km (149 mi) south of Casablanca, and 246 km (153 mi) northeast of Agadir. Marrakech is the second-largest city in Morocco and is known as the Red City. It has about 930,000 inhabitants and most of the houses are colored read. Marrakech Medina. It is truly a colorful city of entertainment and is called one of the pearls of morocco. It is the major economic center and has several upcoming industries and markets. It lies at the foot of the Atlas Mountains and this gives it a stunning location. Like many North African cities it is mainly divided into medina which is the old fortified city and a modern city nearby (called Gueliz). The city has a wonderful climate with shimmering white snowy winters and warm, humid summers. It is the warmth and the sociability of the inhabitants that is world-renowned.
Data and facts
- In 1062, Yusuf ibn Tashfin, the leader of a group of religious nomads called the Almoravids, founded the city of Marrakech and made it the capital city of the Almoravid empire.
- For over 700 years the most notable landmark in Marrakech has been the Koutoubia Mosque. At over 220 feet in height, this remarkable piece of Spanish and Moorish architecture is the source for the “adhan” or Muslim call to prayer five times each day.
- By road, Marrakesh is 580 kilometres (360 mi) southwest of Tangier, 327 kilometres (203 mi) southwest of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, 239 kilometres (149 mi) southwest of Casablanca, 196 kilometres (122 mi) southwest of Beni Mellal, 177 kilometres (110 mi) east of Essaouira, and 246 kilometres (153 mi) northeast of Agadir. The city has expanded north from the old centre with suburbs such as Daoudiat, Diour El Massakine, Sidi Abbad, Sakar and Amerchich, to the southeast with Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, to the west with Massira and Targa, and southwest to M'hamid beyond the airport.
- According to the 2014 census, the population of Marrakesh was 928,850 against 843,575 in 2004. The number of households in 2014 was 217,245 against 173,603 in 2004.
- The official language of Marrakech is Arabic. However, Berber (Amazigh) and French are also quite common, and a lot of the locals can speak English very well, too.
- Although Marrakech is known for its large number of upscale nightspots and outstanding restaurants, as recently as 2010 there were an estimated 20,000 homes within the city which didn’t have electricity or water. This may actually be one of the least fun facts about Marrakech.
- Airports aren’t usually listed among a city’s great examples of architecture, especially in such a historic city, however, Menara air terminal in Marrakech is consistently listed as among the most striking in the world. It was designed in 2006 and construction was completed in 2008. Even though its design incorporates modern lines and geometric patterns, it also includes delicate touches as a nod to the area’s iconic structures and historic architecture.
- The historical city of Marrakech was made a Sister City of Scottsdale, Arizona in 2012. Some commonalities between the two locations include shared interests in tourism, vibrant cultural heritages, a similar climate, and golf.
- For over 700 years the most notable landmark in Marrakech has been the Koutoubia Mosque. At over 220 feet in height, this remarkable piece of Spanish and Moorish architecture is the source for the “adhan” or Muslim call to prayer five times each day. Originally the mosque wasn’t properly aligned with Mecca, so additional construction was required to remedy the situation.
Marrakesh, the regional capital, constitutes a prefecture-level administrative unit of Morocco, Marrakech Prefecture, forming part of the region of Marrakech-Safi. Marrakesh is a major center for law and jurisdiction in Morocco, and most of the major courts of the region are here. These include the regional Court of Appeal, the Commercial Court, the Administrative Court, the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal of Commerce, and the Administrative Court of Appeal. Numerous organizations of the region are based here, including the regional government administrative offices, the Regional Council of Tourism office, and regional public maintenance organizations such as the Governed Autonomous Water Supply and Electricity and Maroc Telecom.
Marrakech, which depends largely on French visitors, makes approximately 30.2 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from tourism. The red city came second to Cancun, Mexico, a favorite American destination. Cancun receives 49.6 percent of its income and revenue from tourism and travel. Marrakech’s economy is primarily based on tourism, commerce, and crafts. The luxury and boutique hotel experience has helped upgrade the tourism infrastructure in the city. Maintaining good tourism infrastructure helped make the red city a favorite destination for tourists and celebrities and a venue for international events.
The Marrakesh railway station is linked by several trains running daily to other major cities in Morocco such as Casablanca, Tangiers, Fez, Meknes and Rabat. The Casablanca–Tangier high-speed rail line opened in November 2018. The main road network within and around Marrakesh is well paved. The major highway connecting Marrakesh with Casablanca to the south is A7, a toll expressway, 210 km (130 mi) in length. The road from Marrakesh to Settat, a 146 km (91 mi) stretch, was inaugurated by King Mohammed VI in April 2007, completing the 558 km (347 mi) highway to Tangiers. Highway A7 also connects Marrakesh to Agadir, 233 km (145 mi) to the south-west. The Marrakesh-Menara Airport (RAK) is 3 km (1.9 mi) southwest of the city center. It is an international facility that receives several European flights as well as flights from Casablanca and several Arab nations. The airport is at an elevation of 471 meters (1,545 ft) at 31°36′25″N 008°02′11″W. It has two formal passenger terminals, but these are more or less combined into one large terminal. A third terminal is being built.
Science and technology in Morocco has significantly developed in recent years. The Moroccan government has been implementing reforms to encourage scientific research in the Kingdom. While research has yet to acquire the status of a national priority in Morocco, the country does have major assets that could transform its R&D sector into a key vehicle for development. The industry remains dominated by the public sector, with the universities employing 58% of researchers. Morocco's own evaluation of its national research system – carried out in 2003 – revealed that the country has a good supply of well trained high-quality human resources and that some laboratories are of very high quality. However, the greatest gap at that point of time lay in the link between research and innovation. The educational qualifications of Moroccan researchers have increased significantly since the early 1990s. The University of Al-Karaouine is considered the oldest continuously operating academic degree-granting university in the world by the Guinness Book of Records.