The Famous Marrakech city
Marrakech (in Arabic: مُرَاكُش, murrākuš; in Berber: ⵎⵕⵕⴰⴽⵛ, Meṛṛakc), is a city located in central Morocco at the foot of the Atlas Mountains4. Marrakech is nicknamed “the red city” N 1 or the “ocher city” in reference to the red color of a large part of its buildings and houses5.
Marrakech and its urban area have in 2020 a little more than one million inhabitants 2. By its population, the city is the third agglomeration of the country, on a par with its historical rival, Fez, and behind Casablanca. Imperial city, like Fez, Rabat and Meknes, Marrakech was the capital of Morocco for nearly 350 years, under the Almoravid (11th – 12th centuries), Almohad (12th – 13th centuries), Saadian (16th – 17th centuries) dynasties ), as well as during the reign of Mohammed ben Abdallah of the current Alawite dynasty (reigning from 1757 to 1790).
Marrakech is home to a vast medina of 600 hectares, the most populous in North Africa, and classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Thanks to the vitality of its 900-year-old medina, its world-class hotel infrastructures, and its sunny climate, Marrakech has established itself as the undisputed capital of tourism in Morocco. Served by the country’s second airport in terms of traffic, Marrakech – Menara airport, the city welcomed nearly 3 million visitors in 2019.
Origin of the Marrakech
Several hypotheses coexist as to the origin of the name of the city. The most widespread among historians considers that the name of Marrakech is a contraction of the Berber Amur n’Akush. Amur means “country” and Akouch, or Yakouch means “God”, which gives “the land of God” 6. A less widespread alternative etymology proposes the interpretation of “land of the course” .
Medieval Arabic-speaking sources have been numerous to offer fanciful Arabic origins in the name of Marrakech. Some of these etymologies have been taken up in contemporary works. For Louis Deroy and Marianne Mulon, for example, authors of the Dictionary of place names, the name comes from the Arabic Marruquch “la bien parée” 8 from رقش “to ornament, embellish”.
Origin of the name
Several hypotheses coexist as to the origin of the name of the city. The most widespread among historians considers that the name of Marrakech is a contraction of the Berber Amur n’Akush. Amur means “country” and Akouch, or Yakouch means “God”, which gives “the land of God” 6. A less widespread alternative etymology proposes the interpretation of “land of the course”.
Medieval Arabic-speaking sources have been numerous to offer fanciful Arabic origins in the name of Marrakech. Some of these etymologies have been taken up in contemporary works. For Louis Deroy and Marianne Mulon, for example, authors of the Dictionary of place names, the name comes from the Arabic Marruquch “the well adorned” from رقش “to ornament, embellish”.
The word “Morocco” and its equivalents in various European languages are directly derived from the word “Marrakech”. From the 1130s, sixty years after the founding of the city, the name appears in Latin sources to designate the capital of the Almoravid empire6. In the fourteenth century, we identify the forms “Marroch” in Catalan (from which the French name derives), “Marruecos” in Castilian, “Morrocco” in Tuscan, and “Marrocos” in Portuguese, undoubtedly the oldest form, the ” ‘s final being hissed in Portuguese.
In the fifteenth century, Portugal exerted strong military pressure on Morocco. The country is split in two, the Wattassids having Fez as their capital and reigning over the north of Morocco and the Hintata then the Saadian sheriffs reigning over Marrakech and the south of the country. European geographic literature then endorses the idea that the Maghreb al-Aqsa is made up of the kingdoms of Fez and Morocco. It is finally the name of the capital of the south ends up imposing itself on the whole country. In addition, until the twentieth century, Morocco was known in the East under the name of Marrakech (a name still relevant in Iran).
During the Almohad period, Marrakech was famous for its leather craftsmanship. The tanning of the skins was already carried out there in the tanneries of Bab Debbagh in the east of the city. The leather accessories made in Marrakech were so famous that we began to speak in Castile of marroquinería to designate them. This term ended up spreading in other languages such as French, the “leather goods” being used to designate the activity as well as the articles using as main material the leather.
Capitale des empires almoravide et almohade
Marrakech (Mourrakouch) was founded in the year 1071 (year 463 of the Hegira) by the Berber sovereign Sanhadjiens Almoravid Youssef ben Tachfine11 and his queen Zaynab Nefzaouia, also of Berber origin. Very quickly, in Marrakech, under the leadership of the Almoravids, pious warriors and austere scholars from the current Mauritanian desert, many mosques and madrasahs (Koranic theological schools) were built, as well as a shopping center draining traffic between the Western Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Marrakech grew rapidly and established itself as an influential cultural and religious metropolis, supplanting Aghmat and Sijilmassa. Palaces were also built and decorated with the help of Andalusian craftsmen from Cordoba and Seville, who brought the Umayyad style characterized by chiseled cupolas and multi-lobed arches. This Andalusian influence merged with Saharan and West African elements and was synthesized in an original architecture totally adapted to the specific environment of Marrakech.
The city became the capital of the Almoravid Emirate, a Eurafrican empire that stretched from the banks of the Senegal River to the center of the Iberian Peninsula and from the Moroccan Atlantic coast to Algiers. The city was then fortified by the son of Youssef Ibn Tachfin, Ali Ben Youssef, who built around 1122-1123 ramparts that are still visible. While Youssef Ben Tachfine led victorious campaigns in Al-Andalus, subduing the kinglets of the taifas and repelling the offensives of Castile and Aragon, his wife Zaynab Nefzaouia exercised in Marrakech an important power, with all the prerogatives of a real queen.
In 1147, the Almohads supporters of Ibn Toumert who proclaimed himself Mahdi and wanted to impose an orthodox interpretation of Islam seized the city. The last Almoravids were exterminated, except those who went into exile in the Balearic Islands where a branch of this dynasty, the Beni Ghania family, survived. As a result, almost all of the monuments were destroyed. The Almohads, from the Masmouda tribes of the High Atlas, built many palaces and religious buildings marked by grandiose and monumental sobriety, such as the famous Koutoubia mosque built on the ruins of an Almoravid palace, and the twin sister of the Giralda in Seville and the Hassan Tower (unfinished) in Rabat.
The Kasbah housed the caliphal residence (since the reign of Abd al-Mumin the Almohad sovereign carried the title of caliph, thus competing with the distant eastern caliphate of the Abbasids of Baghdad), embellished with a hospital in which the Andalusian doctor Ibn practiced. Tufayl. Of the majestic ensemble of the Mansourian Kasbah, named after the caliph Abu Yusuf Yaqub al-Mansur, the superb Bab Agnaw gate still remains. Marrakech was thus worthy of sheltering the capital of the major power of the medieval Moslem West, the Almohad Empire which included all the region between Cordoba and Tripoli, from Andalusia to Libya.
In order to supply the palm grove and the large gardens, an irrigation system was built and improved, using canals called hectares. Marrakech, by its cultural influence, attracted many writers, intellectuals, and artists from Al-Andalus, including Mutazilites like the famous Averroes, known for having extensively commented on and reinterpreted the Logos of the Greek philosopher Aristotle.
From the Merinid decline to the Saadian renaissance
From 1269, Marrakech was administered by the Hintata who took their independence from the last Almohad caliphs. The latter then ruled the city on behalf of the Marinid sultans, who erected its great rival Fez to the rank of imperial capital. The city then fell into a certain lethargy. From the fifteenth century, Marrakech gained its autonomy vis-à-vis the Wattassids whose authority extended further beyond the Oum Errabiâ while in the Atlantic plains, Portugal extended its influence and even besieged Marrakech. in 1515.
At the beginning of the sixteenth century, Marrakech became the capital of the Saadian Empire. It quickly returned to its peak, in particular under the reign of the sultans Mohammed al-Qaim and especially that of Ahmed al-Mansur Saadi, very influenced by the Ottoman civilization after his years of exile in Constantinople14. Thanks to the fortune amassed following the conquest of Timbuktu and the Songhaï empire, Marrakech was embellished, monuments restored and sumptuous palaces built. The El Badi Palace, built by Ahmed al-Mansur, was a replica of the Alhambra in Granada, made with the most precious materials from the three continents of the Old World (marble from Italy, granite from Ireland, gold from ‘West Africa, Indian porphyry, Chinese jade, etc.), with 360 pieces and 100 fountains15. El Badi also struck contemporaries with its Kubbat al Jujjaj, its “glass dome” made of translucent crystal, and other technical singularities that evoke the Golden House of Nero in Rome16. But all the decorative elements will subsequently disappear, dismantled by order of Sultan Moulay Ismail around 1695 to be reused in the great imperial palaces of Meknes. El Badi was above all intended for the sumptuous receptions offered to the embassies of the Habsburgs17 Spain, Elizabethan England18, the France of Henri IV19, and the Serene Venetian Republic, which recognized the Saadian Caliphate as an inescapable power that stretched from the Mediterranean Sea to the Niger River, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the borders of Fezzan and Chad20, including present-day Mali and its rich gold deposits. Under the reign of the Saadian dynasty, Marrakech thus regained its role of great caravan terminus thanks to the tracks coming from Moroccan Sudan and which were not controlled by the Turks of Algiers.
Destiny of the city under the Alaouite dynasty and in contemporary times
At the end of the 17th century, the Alaouite dynasty succeeded the Saadians. The throne was successively transferred to Fez then to Meknes, the new capital of the Sherifian Empire with Moulay Ismail. Sultan Mohammed III (1757-1790) chose the city as his main place of residence, because of the proximity of the port of Mogador (current city of Essaouira) which he had built on the plans of the French architect Théodore Cornut. It was also in Marrakech that the first friendship treaty between Morocco and the newly independent United States was concluded in 1787. In 1792, Marrakech became the capital of a son of Mohammed III, Moulay Hicham, who was recognized as sultan by this part of the country, while his brother Moulay Sulayman was recognized as legitimate sultan in Fez by the ulemas and by the provinces in north of the Oum Errabiaa river. A war ensued between the two rival sultans, which ended in the defeat of Hicham in 1796, despite the Spanish support of Charles IV who interfered in Moroccan internal affairs. Marrakech was reconquered by Sulayman in 1797 and the city returned to the territory of the Makhzen of Fez.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Marrakech experienced several years of turmoil. After the death of the Grand Vizier Ba Ahmed in 1900, true regent of the Sherifian Empire during the minority of the young Sultan Abd al-Aziz, the country was plagued by anomie, tribal revolts, the plots of the great feudal lords, without count the European intrigues. In 1907, Moulay Abd al-Hafid, khalifa (representative of the makhzen) in Marrakech was proclaimed sultan by the powerful tribes of the High Atlas and by certain ulemas who denied the legitimacy of his brother Abd al-Aziz. It was also in 1907 that a French doctor installed in Marrakech, Doctor Émile Mauchamp, was assassinated, suspected of spying for the benefit of his country. France seizes this affair to make penetrate its troops in Morocco, from Oujda in the east and Casablanca in the west.
The French colonial army nevertheless encountered strong resistance led by Ahmed al-Hiba, a son of the great Sheikh Ma El Aïnin who had come from the Sahara with his nomadic warriors from the Reguibat tribes. After the battle of Sidi Bou Othmane, which saw the victory of the Mangin column over the forces of al-Hiba (September 1912), the French seized Marrakech which thus entered the French protectorate of Morocco established in 1912. La The conquest had been facilitated by the rallying of the Imzwarn tribes and their chiefs belonging to the powerful family of the Glaouis, considered as one of the great aristocratic lines of the region.
One of them, Thami El Glaoui, became famous by acceding to the post of Pasha of Marrakech, appointed by Sultan Moulay Youssef with the approval of Marshal Lyautey, resident general of France in Morocco. El Glaoui will occupy this function throughout the duration of the protectorate (forty-four years). The Pasha distinguished himself by his collaboration with the French authorities, which found its culmination with the plot to dethrone Sidi Mohammed Ben Youssef (Mohammed V) to replace him by the cousin of the legitimate Sultan, Mohammed ben Arafa nicknamed the ” puppet sultan “and designated by the resident general Augustin Guillaume. Thami El Glaoui, already renowned for his prestigious associates (in particular the friendship of Winston Churchill) and his sumptuous lifestyle, worthy of a true monarch, thus became a striking symbol of the colonial order in Morocco22. He could not, however, oppose the rise of nationalist sentiment, or the hostility of a growing part of the population. He could not oppose pressure from France either, which agreed to get rid of its Moroccan protectorate because of the disaster of the Indochina war and the start of the Algerian war. After two successive exiles (in Corsica then in Madagascar), Sidi Mohammed Ben Youssef was authorized to return to Morocco in November 1955, and this return marked the end of the despotic reign of Glaoui on his stronghold of Marrakech, thus recording the country’s accession. to independence.
From the 1960s and 1970s, Marrakech became a destination for the Western jet-set, notably under the leadership of several personalities such as Yves Saint Laurent23 Since the beginning of the millennium, Marrakech has established itself as the undisputed capital of tourism in Morocco, the red city welcoming nearly 3 million visitors in 2019 for a total of 8.3 million overnight stays24. In 2020, the city is nevertheless paying a heavy price during the Covid-19 epidemic. From an economic point of view, the pandemic put a stop to the tourist industry, the economic engine of the city. Then, from a health point of view, Marrakech is with Casablanca one of the cities most heavily affected by the spread of the virus and the city is regularly the target of quarantine measures and targeted blockades of neighborhoods.
Marrakech is located in south-central Morocco. It is the capital of the Haouz plain, and by far its main town. The medina was built on the left bank of Wadi Issil, five kilometers south of its point of confluence with Wadi Tensift. Built at an average altitude of 450 meters above sea level, Marrakech is a city with essentially flat relief. Only Jbel Gueliz, a sandstone hill at an altitude of 55 meters, and its aftermath to the north (Koudiat El Abid), break the monotony of the plain. Beyond the Tensift, the Jbilet form arid gray hills. They mark the limit between the Haouz plain and the Rehamna country. But it is above all to the High Atlas, whose snow-capped peaks in winter are clearly visible from the ocher city, that Marrakech and its hinterland owe their wealth. Without this mountain barrier, the first foothills of which are only 25 kilometers from the city limits and whose highest point, Jebel Toubkal (4,167 m) about sixty kilometers away, the Haouz plain would be only one sterile meseta.
Until the 2000s, the northern limit of the agglomeration of Marrakech was the course of the Tensift, along which stretch palm groves and horticultural food gardens nourishing important peri-urban douars such as El Azzouzia and Ouahat Sidi Brahim. With the construction of the Grand Stade de Marrakech and especially that of Tamansourt, a new city located beyond the river, the agglomeration of Marrakech is also extending its limits to the north.
The city is subject to a semi-arid Mediterranean climate (Köppen classification) 25. The average annual temperature is 20 ° C. The average rainfall is 281 mm per year, which is less than the Mediterranean climatic zone (400 mm per year). The climate of Marrakech can be related to that found in interior California; we can speak of a Mediterranean climate attenuated by the proximity of the desert. The climate varies enormously from year to year; indeed if some years the city can receive 500 mm of precipitation (Mediterranean climate), it can other years receive only a few hundred millimeters of water. In Marrakech, winters are often cold at night and in the morning (around 5 ° C, sometimes −2 ° C; record of −6 ° C). Summers, on the other hand, are often scorching, with average temperatures of 28 ° C. During the day, it is not uncommon for the mercury to exceed the 40 ° C mark. The heat record was observed on July 17, 2012 with 49.6 ° C26.27.
Thunderstorms break out most of the time around October and November, because a humid and fairly rare wind, the Herrûrco, appears in autumn, bringing rains and thunderstorms. As for winter, it is quite wet and it is not uncommon for it to rain for several days in a row. The Atlas Mountains which surround the city are snow-capped from November to May on average, offering a magnificent landscape at the gates of Marrakech. The annual sunshine is around 280 days.
Marrakech has 928,850 inhabitants according to the 2014 census, spread over an area of 230 km2. The population density reaches 350 inhabitants per hectare in the Medina. It is the fourth largest city in Morocco after Casablanca, Fez and Tangier28. The city is divided into two distinct parts: the historic city (ten kilometers of wall) and the new city whose main districts are called Guéliz, L’Hivernage (which concentrates many hotel complexes), Douar el Askar, Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, M’hamid, and Daoudiate29. Guéliz is today the commercial city center. It was founded by the French during the French protectorate in Morocco. In recent years, the city has grown on the outskirts, particularly in the west with the appearance of new residential districts such as the Targa sector or the extension of Avenue Mohammed VI, or in the north Tamansourt.
The medina of Marrakech constitutes the nerve center and the historic heart of the city of Marrakech. Extending over a total area of 600 hectares, it is one of the largest medinas in Morocco and the most populous in North Africa. Its refinement and urban specificity stem directly from the total virginity of the land on which it was erected in the eleventh century. Articulated around a military encampment, the Qsar El Hajar, and a market, it was augmented by a kasbah in the 12th century in order to protect it from the repeated assaults of the Berber tribes of the Haouz plain, thus helping to establish a lasting Almoravid hegemony. The famous ramparts of the old city of Marrakech underwent important modifications according to the dynasties. Thus, they were repeatedly pierced with new doors (Bab in Arabic). Today, the height of the walls oscillates between 8 and 10 meters and they extend over a total distance exceeding 19 kilometers. The medina has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 198530.
The recent craze for riads, these traditional Moroccan houses articulated around a central courtyard, has generated profound sociological transformations within the medina of Marrakech, where the price per square meter has reached new heights. Thus, a not insignificant and growing number of modest Marrakech households is being pushed by speculation to “go into exile” outside the ramparts. On the other hand, there is a phenomenon of habitat densification within the medina. However, we are far from witnessing a museumification of the medina, far from it. In fact, the growing tourist success of Marrakech has durably reinvigorated the medina by attracting many young people to its labyrinths. Thus, it seems that more than 40,000 artisans work there. These are distributed in the different thematic districts geographically organizing the medina.
The mellah, in the south-east of the medina, was and still remains today to a much lesser extent the Jewish quarter of Marrakech. Far from being a ghetto in the strict sense of the term, the mellah brought together certain trades which over and over the history of Marrakech, became specialties of this community (the weaver’s trade was an example of this phenomenon. ). It is the largest of the mellahs of Morocco and was founded in 1558 under the reign of Moulay Abdellah near the palace, which allowed, as was the case in Fez for example, the sultan to separate the Jews from the rest of the inhabitants to try to better protect them from the fanaticism of the Muslim population encouraged at the time by the Almohads, especially after the massacre of the Jewish community in the city, in 123,231,32. “From the 16th to the 20th century, the history of the Marrakech mellah more or less reflects the history of other Moroccan mellahs. At the mercy of economic vagaries, diseases and plagues (plague among others), religious disturbances (with its share of abuses, executions, pogroms, etc.), the mellah developed “33.
The mellah gradually emptied of its secular Jewish inhabitants, after the creation of the State of Israel in 1948 and the independence of Morocco from France in 1956, at the time of the Arabization policy led by Hassan II34.
Renamed Essalam (“peace” in Arabic) in the 1990s, at the beginning of 2017 it resumed its original name El Mellah, on the instruction of Mohammed VI, to “preserve the historical memory of the place” and promote its tourism34. Nowadays, rare traces still attest to the historic Jewish presence in the city because under the impetus of the current king, important restoration and renovation works have been undertaken across the country to preserve or recall the heritage. Jewish history and culture, constituting an integral part of the history of the kingdom, but which made it lose part of its authenticity35. One can admire there in particular the synagogue Slat al Azama, “synagogue of the expelled” (of Spain) founded in 1492 by the Spanish rabbi Yitzhak Delouya, still in activity and of which the Talmud Torah part (keteb) has become a small museum retracing the history of the Jews of Marrakech and its region.
During its prosperous period, Marrakech had more than 50,000 Jews in the 1947 census and no less than 35 synagogues, two of which still exist today: Slat al Azama and the Joseph Bitton synagogue, Dar Daou road, near the Badi palace, frequented by a hundred faithful still living in the city35,36.
The gardens of Agdal
The gardens of Agdal adjoining the royal palace to the south were created in 1156 according to the official historian of the Almohad dynasty by El Haj Ya’is, the same who was at the origin of the prestigious Koutoubia mosque. The term aguedal also meaning “garden” in a general way among the Berbers, this name of gardens of Aguedal did not impose itself as an exclusive name until towards the end of the 18th century. Its existence, undermined by time, is intimately linked to the clever management of hydraulic resources which is carried out there. Thus, from the end of the eleventh century, the collection of water from the groundwater was ensured by a dense network of “khettaras”, later assisted by a more elaborate system of viaducts from Aghmat, a town located further south in the direction of the Ourika valley. Finally, the storage of rainwater was provided by two huge reservoirs, the largest of which, called Es Sala, was used to train troops in swimming for the crossing of the Strait of Gibraltar.
The district of Guéliz takes its name from Jebel Gueliz, a low-altitude sandstone massif located to the north-west of the old medina with the Berber name. It was the first district located outside the ramparts, formerly reserved for the deceased. Articulated around the current avenue Mohammed V, which joins the square Foucault (Arset El Bilk) to the Djebel Gueliz, the district of Guéliz concentrates the majority of the banks and the shops of Marrakech. The post office, located on Place du 16 novembre, is also a building dating from the Protectorate era, like the old Guéliz market which was recently moved to make way for the Carré Eden complex (commercial, residential and hotel). The whole of the district of Guéliz having been classified by the wilaya zone building R + 5.
Located to the west of Bab Jdid in the south of Guéliz, from which it is separated by the buffer district of Harti, the Hivernage district is an upscale district with many luxury villas. It is home to important hotel complexes, including the Sofitel and the Es-Saadi hotel. It is crossed by Avenue Mohammed VI along which is the Palais des Congrès de Marrakech and the Menara Mall.
The west of the city: Massira, Targa and M'hamid
The western suburbs gradually emerged from the 1980s along with four penetrating ones: the Targa road, El Mouqaouama avenue, the Essaouira road, and the Guemassa avenue, also known as the Agafay road. or drive from the airport. These three sectors come under the administrative responsibility of the Menara district, which had 411,100 inhabitants during the 2014 census. All these suburbs are predominantly residential, with the exception of certain shopping streets in Massira.
These three sectors are urbanistically very different. Targa is formed by a set of neighborhoods and high-standing housing estates. The villas and pavilions dominate. Massira is a vast, more heterogeneous sector. It emerged in a planned manner during the 1980s and included several neighborhoods with varied socio-urbanistic profiles. To the south of the road to Essaouira, three sectors gravitate in the orbit of Massira: Douar Iziki, Azli and Socoma. Finally, beyond Marrakech-Menara Airport is M’hamid, a largely working-class district with more than 100,000 inhabitants that emerged from the 1990s. At the start of the 2020s, certain districts of M’hamid were still in full expansion.
The north of the city
The northern districts of Marrakech extend beyond Avenue Moulay Abdallah, also known to Marrakchis as the Route de Safi. Daoudiate, which emerged in the 1960s and 1970s, is the area’s most emblematic working-class district. Amerchich, located northwest of Daoudiate, is the city’s university district. There are the Faculties of Letters and Human Sciences of Cadi Ayyad University and Legal Sciences. There are also several hospitals of the Mohammed VI University Hospital, in particular the Ibn Nafis hospital and the Arrazi hospital. Between the avenues Allal El Fassi and Moulay Abdallah, several districts are dominated by the terraced houses of the middle classes of the city: Sidi Abbad, Assif, Issil and Aouatif. At the southern end of this perimeter is the famous and lush Jardin Majorelle, a major tourist attraction in the city. Finally, beyond the road to Casablanca, new neighborhoods that have appeared since 2005 are unfolding, where residential buildings and pavilions mingle. The northern shopping epicenter of the city is located along Allal El Fassi Avenue and Palestine Avenue.
Sidi Youssef Ben Ali
Sidi Youssef Ben Ali is one of the two urban communes of the prefecture of Sidi Youssef Ben Ali. Located to the southeast of the agglomeration of Marrakech, in the extension of Bab Aghmat and its cemetery, it is surrounded by the Gardens of Agdal to the west and the bed of the Oued Issil to the east.
In 1994, with a density of 63,354 inhabitants per square kilometer (196,396 inhabitants in an area of 3.1 km2), it was the densest district of Marrakech37. Commonly called “Sidi Youssef”, Sidi Youssef Ben Ali is one of the poorest districts of the city. The Sidi Youssef Ben Ali stadium where the Olympique de Marrakech is trained is located there.
Sidi Ghanem industrial zone
Initially designed to accommodate industrial projects over an area of more than 130 hectares, Sidi Ghanem has become a hybrid district housing more than five hundred companies. The EBF (Emerging Business Factory) incubator revealed the wide variety of types of businesses that the district now abounds in, in addition to its improvised dwellings and its snack bars, restaurants and other places away from the purely industrial characteristic.
In the industrial sector, we can count among other big names and regional champions such as SITI, an international leader in the valuation of premium teas (more than 80% of the international market), IKS, within particular its large and famous brand Petit Bateau or Cartier. Saada, the first listed company in the region.
In commerce, the district offers a wide range of shops, artisans, and showrooms, the evolution of these have made Sidi Ghanem an essential shopping place, popular with tourists. The neighborhood is even home to some well-known restaurants.
The Palm grove
The Palm Grove of Marrakech extends beyond the Wadi Issil. Planted since the Almoravid period, it is irrigated by a network of hectares, artificial underground channels draining water from the melting snow of the High Atlas. Since the end of the 20th century, the palm grove has been taken over by many expatriates and fortunes from Casablanca, who have built luxurious villas there. The palm grove circuit is a classic route for tourists going to Marrakech.