Theme Week Morocco – Rabat

Wednesday, 26 July 2017 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean
Reading Time:  6 minutes

River Bou Regreg and the Kasbah of the Udayas © Elooas/cc-by-sa-3.0

River Bou Regreg and the Kasbah of the Udayas © Elooas/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rabat is the capital city of Morocco and its second largest city with an urban population of approximately 580,000 and a metropolitan population of over 1.2 million. It is also the capital city of the Eṛṛbaṭ-Sla-Qniṭra administrative region. The city is located on the Atlantic Ocean at the mouth of the river Bou Regreg. On the facing shore of the river lies Salé, the city’s main commuter town. Rabat, Temara, and Salé form a conurbation of over 1.8 million people. Silt-related problems have diminished Rabat’s role as a port; however, Rabat and Salé still maintain important textile, food processing and construction industries. In addition, tourism and the presence of all foreign embassies in Morocco serve to make Rabat one of the most important cities in the country. Once a reputed corsair haven, Rabat served as one of the many ports in North Africa for the Barbary pirates, who were particularly active from the 16th through the 18th centuries. Rabat is accessible by train through the ONCF system and by plane through the nearby Rabat–Salé Airport. The city was added to the list of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage in 2012. Located between the Atlantic and the Bouregreg Valley, this magnificent river marina is paved with famous historical sites like the esplanade of the Hassan Tower and the picturesque Chellah necropolis, which has witnessed many Mediterranean civilizations pass by. Outfitted with the most modern equipment to host up to 240 boats, the Bouregreg Marina aims to become an essential destination for recreational boaters seeking long stays or just an unforgettable stopover on their way to West Africa, the Caribbean or the shores of North America.

Rabat is an administrative city. It does have many shopping districts and residential neighborhoods. The geographically spread out neighborhoods are as follows: The heart of the city consists of three parts: the Medina (old town); the Oudayas and Hassan both located to meet the Bou Regreg; and the Atlantic Ocean. To the west, and along the waterfront, there is a succession of neighborhoods. First, around the ramparts, there is the old neighborhoods, Quartier l’Océan and Quartier les Orangers. Beyond that, a succession of mostly working-class districts: Diour Jamaa, Akkari, Yacoub El Mansour, Massira and Hay el Fath are the main parts of this axis. Hay el Fath, which ends this sequence, evolves into a middle-class neighborhood. To the east, along the Bouregreg, the Youssoufia region: Mabella; Taqaddoum; Hay Nahda; Aviation; and Rommani (working and middle classes). Between these two axes, going from north to south, there are three main areas (middle class to very wealthy): Agdal (Ward Building lively mixing residential and commercial functions, predominantly the inhabitants are upper middle class); Hay Riad (affluent villas which has been a surge of momentum since the 2000s); and Souissi (residential neighborhood). On the outskirts of Souissi, are less dense regions mainly constituted of large private houses to areas that seem out of the city.

Kasbah of the Udayas and Bou Regreg in Rabat © MarwanAndrew/cc-by-sa-4.0 River Bou Regreg and the Kasbah of the Udayas © Elooas/cc-by-sa-3.0 Hassan Tower © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0 Bouregreg Marina © Nawalbennani/cc-by-sa-3.0 Avenue Mohammed V © Etotheraf/cc-by-sa-4.0 Atlantic Sunset © flickr.com - David Stanley/cc-by-2.0 Royal Palace © Bernard Gagnon/cc-by-sa-3.0
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Kasbah of the Udayas and Bou Regreg in Rabat © MarwanAndrew/cc-by-sa-4.0
The biggest place for theatre is the Theatre Mohammed V in the centre of the town. The city has a few official galleries and an archeological museum. Many organizations are active in cultural and social issues. Orient-Occident Foundation and ONA Foundation are the biggest of these. An independent art scene is active in the city. L’appartement 22, which is the first independent space for visual arts created by Abdellah Karroum, opened in 2002 and introduced international and local artists. Other independent spaces opened few years after, such as Le Cube, also set up in a private space. Among the main sights are Mausoleum of Mohammed V, Mohammed V University, Hassan Tower, Chellah Necropolis, Kasbah of the Udayas, Rabat Archaeological Museum, and Musée Mohamed VI d’Art Moderne et Contemporain.

Mawazine is a music festival in Rabat welcomed by Mohammed VI King of Morocco, that started in 2001 where music groups, fans and spectators come together in a week-long celebration of culture and music both locally and internationally. Musicians such as Scorpions, Rihanna, Elton John, Stromae and many others have performed at the festival. Mawazine was host to more than 2,500,000 in 2013. Workshops are available for teaching dances and other arts. The festival is free. However, while most areas are free, there are those that require payment, specifically the smaller stages being the historical site of Chellah, the Mohammed V National Theater, and the Renaissance Cultural Center.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on lonelyplanet.com – Rabat, Wikivoyage Rabat and Wikipedia Rabat. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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