Five Things To Know About Quake-hit Marrakesh
Sumaira FH Published September 09, 2023 | 05:10 PM
Here are five things to know about the Ochre City, so called after the colour of its stonework.
- Top tourist destination - Situated at the foot of the snow-capped Atlas mountains, the 11th century city of palms and elegant palaces is Morocco's top tourist attraction, welcoming over two million visitors a year.
Its narrow alleys are usually thronged with visitors haggling with traders over the prices of everything from leather slippers to spices or admiring its stunning riads (palaces), with their exquisite zellige tiles, central courtyards and fountains.
- Storytellers and snake charmers - The beating heart of Marrakesh is the vast Jemaa el-Fna square, which comes alive each night with dancers, storytellers, snake charmers and dozens of food stalls brimming with traditional Moroccan dishes.
- Giant oasis - One of Marrakesh's other key attractions is a giant oasis of tens of thousands of palms as old as the city itself.
Conservationists have warned that urbanisation and mass tourism -- operators led by Club Med have built resorts with golf courses amid the palms -- are causing the oasis to shrink.
- Yves Saint Laurent - Legendary French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent visited Marrakesh in 1966 and was immediately smitten.
The city became a huge influence on his work, particularly his use of colour.
Sharon Stone, Martin Scorsese, Sigourney Weaver and Robert de Niro are among those to have walked the red carpet in a country that has long been a favourite location for international film shoots.