: A grandiose seaside resort worth 12 billion dirhams (1.5 billion dollars) was launched on Friday in Morocco’s Mediterranean coast, part of the country’s Azur plan to boost tourism.
The resort, inaugurated by king Mohammed VI, covers 696 hectares. It will ultimately have a capacity of 30,000 beds, and generate 8,000 direct jobs and 40,000 indirect ones by 2013.
Up to now, 33% of the accommodation capacity has been achieved, and 1,700 direct and 8,500 indirect jobs have been created.
The resort includes nine upscale hotels, 12 holiday villages, eight tourist complexes, 2,700 apartments, 300 villas, three 18-hole golf courses, a marina with 1,350 berths for boats, and a 43,000-sqm “Médina Center” mall that can host up to 160 shops.
The king also visited the “Médina Saidia”, a 40-ha shopping center taking the shape of a Moroccan traditional city.
Plan Azur aims to create new tourist destinations and diversify the north African country’s tourism offer through the development of seaside resorts on the Mediterranean and the Atlantic coasts.
It is considered as one of the key elements in the national strategy underpinning “Vision 2010”.
This 10-year plan provides for attracting 10 million visitors, through trebling the host capacity, training 70,000 tourism-related professionals and improving the tourism offer.