The moroccan press

King Salman, Emir Of Qatar Family To Vacation In Morocco

Western Sahara Worldnews - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 13:45

ANSAmed Italy

King Salman of Saudi Arabia will spend his August holidays in the northwestern Morocco port town of Tangier for the third year running.

The king, who recently severed his country’s diplomatic ties with Qatar, is expected to arrive in the country on Monday.

Despite the diplomatic crisis, the Saudi royal family will be vacationing not far from emir of Qatar’s family, which chose the inland mountainous town of Ifran, less than 400 kilometres away, for its holidays.

King Salman will make his a working holiday, but he has left the kingdom in the hands of his son, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, 31, who was named on June 21 as heir to the throne.

The Moroccan government has chosen to remain neutral in the face of the diplomatic crisis with Qatar.

Two jets are expected to arrive at the Ibn Battouta Airport in Tangier from Jeddah on Monday evening, one with King Salman and his delegation aboard, and the other carrying his wife and part of his family.

The Saudi royal family has reserved 924 hotel rooms, for around 1,000 guests total; the large number of guests has made it impossible to find accommodations in 5-star hotels in the city for the entire month of August.

The delegation also had to comb auto dealerships in Marrakech, Rabat, and Casablanca to provide all of the 453 luxury cars it required.

Preparations in Tangier for the delegation’s arrival have been underway for about two weeks, since the time that the kitchen, cleaning, and ceremonial staff of 143 men and women arrived in the royal family’s luxurious estate with a view of the Atlantic Ocean. (ANSAmed).

Maghreb Future Is Tied To Resolving Western Sahara Conflict

Western Sahara Worldnews - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:37

Middle East Online
By Saad Guerraoui – LONDON

The political crisis in Libya is also hampering its ties with neighbouring countries.

Foreign Ministers from the AMU attend 34th Council of the organisation in Tunis.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) slammed the Arab Maghreb Union (AMU) for failing to ensure the free movement of goods in a free trade area that would span the wide North African region that in­cludes Morocco, Mauritania, Alge­ria, Tunisia and Libya.

“It is crazy that goods need to transit between these neighbours via the French port of Marseilles when they could simply cross over by land,” wrote Wadia Ait Hamza, head of Social Engagement — The Americas, in a paper posted on the World Economic Forum website.

Founded in 1989, the AMU is a pact seeking to establish economic and political integration between member countries.

The last planned summit origi­nally scheduled for May 26, 2005, was postponed indefinitely because of Morocco’s refusal to take part in it due to Algeria’s vocal support for Sahrawi independence. Analysts said that longstanding political disa­greements between Morocco and Algeria regarding the Western Saha­ra conflict besides the political crisis in war-torn Libya were hampering the union’s economic progress.

Morocco annexed Western Sahara in 1975 and maintains it is an inte­gral part of the kingdom. Algerian-backed Polisario Front separatists began an armed conflict with Mo­rocco for an independent state that lasted until the United Nations bro­kered a ceasefire in 1991.

Rabat has proposed a form of autonomy under Moroccan sover­eignty for the territory. The proposal was rejected by the Polisario Front, which insists on the right of the Sah­rawi people to self-determination in a UN-monitored vote.

Algeria denies involvement in the Western Sahara issue although its leaders are suspected of playing a key role in it.

In February, Moroccan King Mo­hammed VI warned that the AMU would crumble if its incapacity to live up to the ambitions of the 1989 agreement continued.

“Today, we regret to see that the Arab Maghreb Union is the least in­tegrated region in the African con­tinent, if not in the whole world. Intra-regional trade has reached 10% between ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] countries and 19% between SADC [Southern African Development Community] countries, while it is still stagnating at less than 3% be­tween Maghreb countries,” King Mohammed VI said.

Trade within the AMU is the low­est of any region in the world, aver­aging $200 million per year between the five countries. This accounts for 3% of the bloc’s total trade. The European Union accounts for more than 60% of the bloc’s total trade.

Mohamed Amine Mansouri Id­rissi, the general manager of Af­rique Strategie in Morocco, said it is “heartbreaking” that two neigh­bouring countries trade through a third party.

“Why do we have to make some­one else, who doesn’t create any added value, benefit from trade be­tween Morocco and Algeria?” asked Idrissi, adding that the third party could make much higher profits than Moroccan exporters, a policy that harms Algerian consumers.

Ali Bahaijoub, director of the Cen­tre for Euro-Mediterranean and Afri­can Studies, said that the AMU crisis was mainly due to the political stale­mate between Morocco and Algeria over Western Sahara.

“As long as the army rules in Alge­ria, the crisis between the two coun­tries will not be resolved,” Bahaijoub said.

“There is a political vacuum in Al­geria that is jeopardising the future of the region.

“It is better for Morocco to trade with other economic zones rather than wait for Algeria to open its bor­ders, which have been closed since 1994,” he added.

Algeria closed its land border with Morocco in 1994 after Rabat insti­tuted visa regulations on Algerian tourists following a terrorist attack on the Atlas Asni Hotel in Marrake­ch that killed two Spanish tourists. Morocco accused Algeria of being involved in the attack.

The political crisis in Libya is also hampering its ties with neighbour­ing countries. Huwaida Elfnayesh, a professor at Tripoli University’s School of Law, said “recent events in the Arab countries, represented by the ‘Arab spring’ revolutions, contributed to widening the gap between the union countries, espe­cially in terms of security.”

“Each country tries to secure its borders from the infiltration of ‘extremist fighters’ as well as the absence of a government in Libya. All these things have brought the union back to the scratch,” said Elf­nayesh.

“The problem of the Moroccan Sahara is still between Algeria and Morocco. Moreover, the collapse of the state in Libya and its civil war directly affects the countries of the union given that common borders with Tunisia and Algeria and the geographical location of Libya in the heart of the union, where Morocco has hosted the negotiations of the Libyan parties in the so-called ‘Skhi­rat’ under the auspices of the United Nations, but the peace process is still long, which is reflected nega­tively on any attempt to revive the Union.”

The WEF called for the opening of borders between AMU members to ensure the free movement of goods and people.

Economic analyst Atman Dkhissi said the WEF’s statement about the AMU is not something new.

“AMU members need to put aside their political problems to enhance trade between them that would boost employment in the region,” said Dkhissi, echoing Bahaijoub’s re­mark that the AMU’s future is tied to resolving the Western Sahara issue.

“Before the border closure, east­ern Morocco’s economy greatly de­pended on Algerian tourists’ spend­ing,” said Dkhissi.

Ali Hamza highlighted the Maghreb countries’ complementary economic conditions. While Tunisia and Morocco specialise in services and agriculture, Libya and Algeria have significant natural resources.

AMU Secretary-General Taieb Baccouche told Jeune Afrique maga­zine on the sidelines of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa “the fact that I have not yet had discus­sions with these two heads of state (Moroccan and Algerian leaders) since taking up my duties does not refer to any official position with regard to the AMU or with regard to myself.”

He said he was waiting for the AMU foreign ministers’ summit lat­er this year to present a new strategy before presenting it to various coun­tries’ leaders.

As for the political crisis between Morocco and Algeria, Baccouche ex­pressed his optimism about an im­provement in the future.

“I think reconciliation will come. We should not give up,” he said.

Elfnayesh was less than hopeful about the project’s future.

“Despite the great ambition of the Maghreb integration project, the reality proved its failure in all re­spects, as all the economic, political and security indicators show,” she said.

“Unfortunately, there are no quick solutions that could push the union ahead, with the many problems that surfaced on a daily basis — includ­ing the Libyan crisis — which led to the almost permanent closure of the border between most of its coun­tries after the ‘Arab spring’ and the anxiety of terrorism has dominated the governments of the region.”

Saad Guerraoui is a regular contributor to The Arab Weekly on Maghreb issues.

This article was originally published in The Arab Weekly.

Colas Has Won A Construction Contract To Extend A Tramway Line In Morocco

Western Sahara Worldnews - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:32

Thé Construction index

Société du Tramway de Rabat-Salé (STRS) has appointed a consortium of Colas Rail and its Morocco-based road construction subsidiary, GTR, to build the extension of Line 2 of the Rabat-Salé tramway. This extension will connect Rabat’s Yacoub El Mansour district and Salé’s new hospital to the tramway network.

The €29m (£26m) contract includes installing the tram platforms, laying rails and installing rail signalling equipment over a total distance of 7km. Colas will also add an additional storage track to the Hay Karima depot and relocate the tram stop serving Salé train station.

Construction work will start next month and the line extension is scheduled to start running in the second half of 2019.

Higher Education: Morocco to Up Senegal's Scholarships Quota to 150, AMCI DG

The moroccan press - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:20

Morocco decided to increase the quota of scholarships granted to Senegalese students enrolled in the Kingdom's higher education schools from 100 to 150 for the next academic year, said on Friday in Dakar director general of the Moroccan Agency for International Cooperation (AMCI), ambassador Mohamed Methqal.

The announcement was made during the preparatory meeting of the Morocco-Senegal inter-joint committee related to education, research and student exchange, attended mainly by Morocco's ambassador in Dakar Taleb Barada.

Categories: The moroccan press

UN: Moroccan Peacekeeper Killed, Three Wounded In CAR

Western Sahara Worldnews - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 12:19

Al Jazeera
News Central African Republic
Source: AFP news agency

The UN blamed pro-Christian armed groups for the shootings in the southern Central African Republic city of Bangassou.

The UN’s 12,500-strong MINUSCA peacekeeping mission is tasked with protecting civilians from armed groups which continue to flourish [File: Reuters]

An ambush killed a Moroccan peacekeeper and wounded three others on Sunday in the Central African Republic, the United Nations said, blaming pro-Christian armed groups for the violence.

“A MINUSCA (peacekeeping mission) military convoy was targeted by Anti-balaka,” it said of the clash in the southern city of Bangassou.

The country is struggling to emerge from a civil war that erupted in 2013 following the overthrow of former President Francois Bozize, a Christian, by Muslim rebels from the Seleka coalition.

The coup led to the formation of “Anti-balaka” vigilante units, drawn from the Christian majority, which began to target Muslims. Both sides committed widespread atrocities.

OPINION: World’s most neglected conflict rages on in the CAR

“The attack took place while the Moroccan peacekeepers were escorting water tankers to the river to help resupply the village,” the MINUSCA force said on Sunday, condemning the assault and sending “condolences to the family, the people and the government of Morocco”.

Earlier on Sunday, the UN condemned an “attack by Anti-balaka near a cathedral where a number of displaced people are living”. Two children were seriously wounded, it said.

Morocco Tops Maghreb Countries In Attracting Foreign Investment

Western Sahara Worldnews - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 02:26

Source: Xinhua

Morocco has topped Maghreb countries in terms of attracting foreign direct investment (FDI), local media reported on Sunday.

Citing a report by the Arab Investment and Export Credit Guarantee Corporation, the Moroccan financial daily L’Economiste said the North African kingdom attracted 2.3 billion U.S. dollars worth of FDI in 2016.

According to the report, Morocco overtook its neighboring Maghreb nations such as Algeria with 1.5 billion U.S. dollars, Tunisia with 958 million U.S. dollars and Libya with 493 million U.S. dollars worth of FDI in 2016.

Among Arab countries, Morocco came at fifth after the Unite Arab Emirates (UAE), Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Lebanon.

It noted that Arab countries drained some 30.8 billion U.S. dollars worth of FDI in 2016, a 25 percent increase compared to a year earlier.

Morocco, China Sign Deal To Build Africa’s Tallest Skyscraper In Rabat

Western Sahara Worldnews - Mon, 07/24/2017 - 02:16

Source: Xinhua

A Chinese firm has signed a deal with Moroccan companies to build the tallest skyscraper in Africa in the capital of Morocco, local media reported on Sunday.

The deal was concluded in Casablanca by China Railway Construction Corporation and Morocco’s BMCE Bank of Africa and Travaux Generaux de Construction de Casablanca, Morocco’s leading construction company, news site said.

The 55-storey tower will reach 250 meters high, with the adoption of ecological and sustainable design concepts. It will include offices, hotels and luxury apartments, according to the report.

The tower will be the highlight of a large-scale project to develop the Bouregreg valley in Rabat, a key component of the 2014-2018 Integrated Development Program dubbed “Rabat, City of Light, Moroccan Cultural Capital.”

The new project also involves the construction of several innovative facilities, including the Grand Theatre of Rabat, the Arts and Culture House, the National Archives of the Kingdom of Morocco and the Archaeological Museum.

Morocco, Britain Sign MoU On Civil Aviation Security

Western Sahara Worldnews - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 10:36

Source: Xinhua

Morocco and Britain have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on civil aviation security, the official MAP news agency reported on Friday.

Initiated by minister of tourism, Mohamed Sajid, and the Charge d’Affaires at the British Embassy in Rabat, William Hopkinson, the agreement will further develop cooperation in the field of civil aviation security, the report said.

This goal will be achieved through exchange of experiences and expertise, particularly in the field of new technologies, the organization of training activities, exchange of visits and the evaluation of security measures applied at the two countries’ airports, it pointed out.

The two sides also agreed to combine their efforts and consolidate their relations in the field of civil aviation security.

This cooperation will further strengthen Morocco’s privileged position in the North African region for its security and economic stability and further enhance its image as an attractive tourist destination.

France 24 Apologizes For Airing Images Of Violence From Venezuela Purporting They Happened In Al Hoceima

Western Sahara Worldnews - Sat, 07/22/2017 - 01:54

The North Africa Post

France 24 TV channel has apologized following protests by Morocco after the channel broadcasted images of protests in Venezuela purporting they happened in Morocco’s northern town of Al Hoceima.

The French news broadcaster said the images were a technical failure that was addressed in the following news hour.

Morocco’s ministerial department in charge of the foreign press, The Ministry of Culture and Communication, deplored the airing of images having nothing to do with the circumstances in Al Hoceima adding that it took note of France 24 apology.

Morocco’s Culture and Communication Minister Mohamed Laarej has demanded in a letter, apologies from the French media group, which includes France 24, RFI and Monte Carlo Doualiya.

“That footage, which presented Venezuelan protesters as young Moroccans chased by law enforcement elements in Al Hoceima in northern Morocco sought sewing confusion and misleading the TV channel’s viewers,” the minister said in his letter.

France 24 broadcasted images from Venezuela on July 13 depicting protesters trying to hide from security forces firing at them. The scene was shown during a program on Al Hoceima hosting lawyer Mohammed Ziane, a member of the defense team representing detained Rif protesters.

North Africa Post’s news desk is composed of journalists and editors, who are constantly working to provide new and accurate stories to NAP readers.

Sound Energy Details Morocco Exploration Plans Following Tendrara Successes

Western Sahara Worldnews - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 20:30

by Jamie Ashcroft

Chief executive James Parsons says the rest of 2017 will see a busy operational period for Sound Energy.

Sound Energy PLC (LON:SOU) has outlined its plans for the newly defined Anoual and Matarka exploration areas in the vicinity of its successful Tendrara gas project in eastern Morocco.

New exploration licences are being issued as the group completes its acquisition deal agreed previously with partner OGIF – which also gives the company a larger position in Tendrara.

Sound plans to undertake geophysical surveying and preliminary exploration operations, including seismic, ahead of future wells in the new exploration areas.

READ: Sound Energy confirms Tendrara development concept is intact

“Following the recent confirmation of the plan for Tendrara development with the successful TE7 pressure build up, I am very pleased to report excellent progress on the OGIF acquisition and our geophysical programme,” said James Parsons, Sound Energy chief executive.

“We, together with our strategic partner Schlumberger, are opening a new hydrocarbon province in Eastern Morocco, which we absolutely expect to be transformational for both Sound Energy and Morocco.”

Parsons said the agreements for the new Anoual and Matarka licences will further strengthen the group’s regional position.

“In the meantime, we look forward to updating shareholders on our future drilling plans in Eastern Morocco and the extended well test in Southern Morocco, and to continuing to advance the company’s position in the region.

“We expect the third and fourth quarters to be a busy operational period.”

Tendrara stake increases

Sound confirmed that with its successful recent well programme at Tendrara, it has already satisfied the commitments of both the first and second complimentary periods under its licence agreement, and it now expects to secure a new eight-year licence for the project in 2018.

The company’s next work at Tendrara will involve a Full Tensor Gravity (FTG) gradiometry survey and 2D seismic programme, both of which will be paid for by Schlumberger under its partnership agreement.

Presently, Sound owns a 75% stake in Tendrara which is effectively shared with Schlumberger, with the AIM-quoted firm retaining 47.5% of the asset.

The acquisition deal sees Sound issuing OGIF some 272mln new Sound Energy shares.

Once it is complete, Sound will acquire a further 20% stake in Tendrara, and it will secure the rights to acquire a 75% stake in the Meridja exploration area and a 75% stake in previously relinquished areas close to Tendrara.

Anoual exploration area

The area presently called Meridja will in future be known as the Anoual exploration area. Sound will retain 47.5% of Anoual, once it assigns Schlumberger 27.5%.

Anoual will be subject to an eight-year exploration permit, for an area spanning 8,863 square kilometres.

During an initial three year period. the company will be required to carry out an FTG-aerogradiometry programme, plus acquire 600 kilometres of 2D seismic and 150 square kilometres of 3D seismic.

A subsequent period of two years and six months, will require one exploration well (to test a Triassic objective). Then, a second well will be required under the terms for a third period of two-and-a-half years.

Sound has the option to drill these well ahead of schedule, and they will still count against its obligations.

Matarka exploration area

The relinquished areas will be known as the Matarka exploration area.

Initially, the company will have a one-year reconnaissance licence and it will have to deliver an FTG survey.

After that the group will have the right to apply for a longer exploration licence.

Tendrara programmes

Sound told investors it expects Schlumberger (which is paying for and carrying out the work) will undertake a number of geophysical surveys – including FTG, Scalar Gravity, Magnetics and LiDAR surveys.

This work will start in July. It will span some 24,000 square kilometres, and it will inform a basin scale model to evaluate Paleozoic and Triassic petroleum systems and the basin’s potential. It is expected to be a three month programme, with a full interpretation of the data anticipated in November.

The findings will support planning for the future seismic programmes.

Schlumberger is expected to start the 2D seismic in the first half of next year. The exploration programme will be split into three parcelled areas, likely starting with an area in the Tendrara/Anoual border area where the partners want to better define structural leads.

Subsequently, once all seismic is complete, the company intends to upgrade exploration prospects into its inventory, which will be assessed further via a new competent persons report.

This will be part of a programme to advance the Tendrara resources ahead of a final investment decision for the anticipated Tendrara development project.

Efforts to tap key new markets are yielding results for Morocco’s tourism industry: OBG

The moroccan press - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 15:32

 Efforts to tap key new markets are yielding results for Morocco’s tourism industry, helping the country to boost visitor numbers and buck regional trends in the process, the Oxford Business Group (OBG) pointed out.

Categories: The moroccan press

There is Collective Awareness of the Need to Create Atmosphere of Serenity in Al Hoceima (Official)

The moroccan press - Fri, 07/21/2017 - 15:09

Deputy minister in charge of Relations with the Parliament and Civil Society, government spokesman, Mustapha El Khalfi, said, on Thursday in Rabat, that there is a collective awareness of the need to create an atmosphere of serenity in Al Hoceima.

Categories: The moroccan press

Celebrating 230 Years of US-Morocco Friendship – A Lasting Partnership

Morocco on the move - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 21:25

Washington, DC, July 20, 2017, Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) – This week officially marked 230 years of friendship between the United States and Morocco, with the anniversary of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, the longest-lasting treaty in US history.

Morocco played a critical role in the early days of the US republic as the first country to officially recognize the fledging American nation in 1777. In 1780, General George Washington and the Sultan of Morocco began an official correspondence that quickly led to a mutual interest in negotiating a “Treaty of Amity and Commerce” to set out the conditions of trade relations between the two. It took persistence on the part of the Sultan, as the colonies were still fighting a war, and there were few American diplomats charged with negotiating treaties. The final draft of the Treaty of Peace and Friendship was approved by the Confederation Congress in July 1787.

Other milestones include the first US consulate in Africa and the Middle East, inaugurated in Tangier in 1797, and the first multilateral treaty, signed by the US and nine other countries in 1865, to erect a lighthouse in Tangier as a navigational aid.

More recently, Morocco assisted the US and its allies during World War I and II; our economic and commercial ties were enhanced through the 2004 bilateral Free Trade Agreement; and Morocco continues to provide strong counterterrorism cooperation, as well as participating in Strategic Dialogue and joint military training exercises with the US.

“The Treaty of Peace and Friendship is a remarkable document with an enduring legacy,” said former US Ambassador to Morocco Edward M. Gabriel. “Our long friendship with Morocco continues to this day, based on shared values and a common vision.”


The Moroccan American Center for Policy (MACP) is a non-profit organization whose principal mission is to inform opinion makers, government officials, and interested publics in the United States about political and social developments in Morocco and the role being played by the Kingdom of Morocco in broader strategic developments in North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Middle East.

This material is distributed by the Moroccan American Center for Policy on behalf of the Government of Morocco. Additional information is available at the Department of Justice in Washington, DC.

The post Celebrating 230 Years of US-Morocco Friendship – A Lasting Partnership appeared first on Morocco On The Move.

Categories: The moroccan press

70th Session of APU Executive Committee Kicks Off in Rabat

The moroccan press - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 15:20

The 70th session of the Executive Committee of the African Parliamentary Union (APU) opened on Thursday in Rabat.

The two-day event, chaired by speaker of Guinea-Bissau’s National Assembly, Cipriano Cassama, will discuss several issues, including admission and readmission within the UPA as well as the implementation of decisions and recommendations of the Conference of Presidents.

Categories: The moroccan press

Up to Life Sentence for Gdim Izik Convicts

The moroccan press - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:20

The criminal court of the Salé Appeal Court on Wednesday morning gave verdicts ranging from two years to life sentence against the accused in the events related to the dismantling of the Gdim Izik camp.

The court has sentenced to life imprisonment Abhah Sidi Abdellah, Al Ismaili Ibrahim, Bani Mohamed, Mohamed Boutankiza Lbachir, Laâroussi Abdeljalil, Lakhfawni Abdallah, Lamjid Sidi Ahmed and Sbaï Ahmed.

Categories: The moroccan press

Washington Stresses Multidimensional Nature of Morocco's Anti-Terrorism Strategy (Report)

The moroccan press - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:16

The United States stressed, on Wednesday, the multidimensional nature of the Moroccan strategy in fighting violent extremism, which places at the top of its priorities the objectives of economic and human development, vigilant security measures, as well as regional and international cooperation.

"Morocco has a comprehensive counterterrorism strategy that includes vigilant security measures, regional and international cooperation, and counter-radicalization policies," said the US Department of State's Country Reports on Terrorism 2016, published in Washington.

Categories: The moroccan press

Al Hoceima: Majority Parties Call on Citizens to Adhere to Decision of Not Authorizing July 20 Demonstration

The moroccan press - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 12:14

The parties of the government majority called on the inhabitants of Al Hoceima to adhere to the decision of the local authorities of not authorizing the demonstration of July 20 to preserve the climate of serenity and public order.

Categories: The moroccan press

Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech Reopens In Morocco

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 02:01

Breaking Travel News

A six year, US$100 million renaissance orchestrated by Parisian interior designer Studio MHNA has brought the age of Morocco’s Saadian dynasty to architectural life in the dramatic form of the new landmark Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech.

Comprehensively reconfigured as a modern reinterpretation of the traditional architectural hallmarks found in noble Moroccan mansions of the 16th century, the hotel’s design features include a central fountain, cloistered gardens and peripheral double gallery, while the iconic interiors feature contemporary variations on traditional Moroccan decorative arts.

Inspired by the notional journey of a nomad discovering the refuge of Ahmed Al Mansour Eddahbi, sultan of the Saadian dynasty from 1578 to 1603, Studio MHNA’s innovative design draws guests through a series of differing, complementary spaces, to the majestic central ‘oasis’ or lobby.

On arrival, guests are plunged into the world of an imaginary oasis, passing through a promenade lined with gardens; various inviting lounges, fountains and water features; an ‘airlock’ overlooking a monumental door; and finally a majestic lobby with the ‘oasis’ at its heart.

Modern techniques have been applied to many traditional Moroccan design features to create several remarkable signature pieces.

A dramatic wall of 3D mashrabiyas, or latticework panels, was made using laser cut metals.

A backlit wall of mother-of-pearl provides a stunning contemporary showcase for the ancient mosaic techniques of local craftsman.

Crowning the lobby, beneath a cupola, is a magnificent nine metre high chandelier, made using a high-tech stamping technique from the aeronautical industry.

Ambient lighting includes a stunning feature wall adorned with 1,200 bespoke LED lamps, developed especially over two years by Studio MHNA to recreate the luminous flicker of candlelight – conjuring not just a magical warm atmosphere, but also significant reductions in energy consumption.

With the hotel adjoining the city’s largest and most important convention centre, the Palais des Congrès, Studio MHNA also had to ensure its design was suitable to simultaneously accommodate two very different types of guests, providing an equally appropriate and warm welcome for leisure and business clientele.

In order to achieve this, two distinct guest journeys were created, each taking its own path to a separate, dedicated lobby.

Each type of clientele is thus able to enjoy a tailored, privileged welcome experience: the group lobby is designed to smoothly manage large flows of people, whilst the individual guest lobby offers a more private service.

Mövenpick Hotel Mansour Eddahbi Marrakech reopened in October 2016 under the management of Mövenpick Hotels & Resorts after completing an extensive renovation and expansion programme.

Inspired by the vision and achievements of Ahmed Al Mansour Eddahbi, Sultan of the Saadian dynasty, the hotel is a contemporary oasis from the enchanting buzz of the Red City, just a few minutes’ walk from the bustling Medina in the central L’Hivernage district, and only 15 minutes’ drive from Marrakech Menara Airport.

Morocco Sentences 23 Over Western Sahara Killings

Western Sahara Worldnews - Thu, 07/20/2017 - 01:41

eNCA News

A Moroccan court sentenced 23 Sahrawis on Wednesday to prison terms ranging from two years to life over the killing of 11 members of the Moroccan security forces in contested Western Sahara.

The verdict in the case, which has been closely followed by human rights campaigners, was delivered at dawn by the Court of Appeals in Sale near Rabat, the official news agency MAP reported.

Morocco and the Algeria-backed Polisario Front independence movement have accused each other of provoking the deadly clashes between police and Sahrawi protesters at a camp for displaced people in Gdeim Izik in November 2010.

In 2013 a military court sentenced the defendants to jail terms ranging from 20 years to life.

International rights groups condemned that trial as “unfair” and in July the Court of Cassation ordered a civilian court to examine the case.

Morocco says Western Sahara, a former Spanish colony mostly controlled by Rabat, is an integral part of the kingdom.

The Polisario Front demands a referendum on self-determination for the territory.

Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch this week issued a joint plea for the Moroccan authorities to ensure the verdict in the trial was not based on confessions or statements “obtained under torture or other ill-treatment during police interrogations”.

The NGO Action by Christians for the Abolition of Torture has criticised what it called an “unfair trial” that took into account “confessions signed under torture”.

In May, the defendants and their lawyers announced they would no longer attend the trial, alleging “irregularities”.

The Moroccan authorities have sought to underline what they called the “transparency” and “fairness” of the civil trial, which was open to the press and international observers.