|— Prefecture-level city —|
|Founder||Yusef ibn Tashfin|
|• Mayor||Fatima Zahra Mansouri|
|Elevation||466 m (1,529 ft)|
|Highest elevation||510 m (1,670 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||430 m (1,410 ft)|
|• Prefecture-level city||909,000|
|Time zone||WET (UTC+0)|
|• Summer (DST)||WEST (UTC+1)|
Marrakesh, or Marrakech (Berber: Merrakec, ⵎⴻⵔⵔⴰⴽⴻⵛ; Arabic: مراكش, Murrākuš) (pronounced Marra-kesh), is a major city in the northwest African nation of Morocco. With a population of 794,620 and 1,063,415 in the metropolitan area according to the 2004 census, it is Morocco's fourth largest city after Casablanca, Fes and Rabat, and the capital of the mid-southwestern economic region of Marrakech-Tensift-El Haouz, near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains. By road, Marrakesh is located 580 km (360 mi) southwest of Tangier, 327 km (203 mi) southwest of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, 239 km (149 mi) southwest of Casablanca, and 246 km (153 mi) northeast of Agadir.
Marrakesh is the most important of the four former imperial cities in the history of Morocco. Inhabited by Berber farmers from Neolithic times, the city was founded in 1062 by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, chieftain and cousin of Yusuf ibn Tashfin. Led by the Almoravids, many mosques including the Koutoubia Mosque and madrasas (Koranic schools) were built here during the 12th century with Andalusian influence. The red walls of the city, built by Ali ibn Yusuf in 1122-1123, and various buildings constructed during this period have given the city the nickname of the "Red City" or "Ochre City" because of the red sandstone used. Marrakesh grew rapidly and established itself as a cultural, religious, and trading centre for the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa; Jemaa el-Fnaa is the busiest square in Africa. After a period of decline, the city was surpassed by Fez, in the early 16th century, Marrakesh again became the capital of the kingdom and reestablished its former glory especially during the reigns of the wealthy Saadian sultans Abu Abdallah al-Qaim and Ahmad al-Mansur who embellished the city with sumptuous palaces such as the El Badi Palace (1578), and restored many ruined monuments. As a centre for sufism, the city became known for its "Seven Saints". In 1912 the French Protectorate in Morocco was established and T'hami El Glaoui, known as "Lord of the Atlas", became Pasha of Marrakesh, a post he held virtually throughout the 44 year duration of the Protectorate, dominating the city and living a lavish lifestyle. In 2009, Fatima Zahra Mansouri became only the second woman in Morocco's history to be elected mayor of a city.
Like many Moroccan cities, Marrakesh comprises both an old fortified city packed with many people working on stalls (the medina) and modern neighborhoods, the most prominent of which is Gueliz. Today it is one of the busiest cities in Africa, a major economic centre and tourist destination. Tourism is strongly advocated by the reigning Moroccan monarch, Mohamed VI, with the goal of doubling the number of tourists visiting Morocco to 20 million by 2020. Despite the economic recession, real estate and hotel development has rocketed in the city in the 21st century, and in 2012 alone, 19 new hotels were due to open. Marrakesh is particularly popular with the French, and numerous French celebrities own property there. Marrakesh has the largest traditional Berber market (souk) in Morocco, with some 18 souks selling anything from traditional Berber carpets to modern consumer electronics. Crafts employ a significant percentage of the population who sell their wares to tourists in the souks.
Marrakesh is served by Ménara International Airport and Marrakesh railway station, which connects it to Casablanca and the north. Marrakesh has several universities and schools, including Cadi Ayyad University. A number of Moroccan football clubs are located here including Najm de Marrakech, KAC Marrakech, Mouloudia de Marrakech and Chez Ali Club de Marrakech. The Marrakesh Street Circuit hosts races of the World Touring Car Championship, Formula 2 and Auto GP World Series.
The name is spelled Merrakec in the Berber Latin alphabet, Marrakech in French and Marraquech in Spanish. The common English spelling is "Marrakesh", although "Marrakech" is also widely used. The probable origin of the name is from the Berber (Amazigh) words mur (n) akush (ⵎⵓⵔ ⵏ ⴰⴽⵓⵛ), which means "Land of God".  The word mur  is used now in Berber mostly in the feminine form tamurt. The same word "mur" appears in Mauretania, the North African kingdom from antiquity, although the link remains controversial as this name might also originate from μαύρος mavros, the ancient Greek word for black. In Moroccan Arabic the word is "Mer-reksh". The exact meaning of the name is unknown according to some, but according to Susan Searight, the town's name was first mentioned in an 11th-century manuscript in the Qarawiyyin library in Fez and meant "country of the sons of Kush".
Since medieval times and until around the beginning of the 20th century, the entire country of Morocco was known in English and other European literature as "Kingdom of Marrakesh" as the capital city back then was often Marrakech. The Persian and Urdu words for "Morocco" are still مراكش "Marrakech" to this day. European names of Morocco (Marruecos, Marrocos, Maroc, Marokko, etc.) are directly derived from the Berber word Murakush, and in many South Asian languages the country is in fact still known as Marrakech. Conversely, the city itself was in earlier times simply called Marocco (City) (or similar) by travelers from abroad. The name of the city and the country diverged after the Treaty of Fez placed Morocco under French influence, but the old interchangeable usage lasted widely until about the interregnum of Mohammed Ben Aarafa. The latter episode set in motion the country's return to independence, when Morocco officially became al-Mamlaka al-Maġribiyya (المملكة المغربية) ("The Maghreb Kingdom"), its name no longer referring to the city of Marrakesh. Marrakesh, also known as the "red city" and "the daughter of the desert", is the great citadel of the Islamic world which has been qualified as "a drum that beats an African identity into the complex soul of Morocco."
The Marrakesh area was inhabited by Berber farmers from Neolithic times, and numerous stone implements have been unearthed in the area. Marrakesh was founded in 1062 (454 in the Hijri calendar) by Abu Bakr ibn Umar, chieftain and cousin of Yusuf ibn Tashfin. Led by the Almoravids, pious and learned warriors from the desert, numerous mosques and madrasas (Koranic schools) were built, developing the community into a trading center for the Maghreb and sub-Saharan Africa. Marrakesh grew rapidly and established itself as a cultural and religious center, supplanting Aghmat which had long been the capital of Haouz. Palaces were built and decorated by Andalusian craftsmen from Cordoba and Seville, developing the Umayyad style which was characterized by carved domes and cusped arches. This Andalusian influence merged with designs from the Sahara and West Africa, creating a unique style of architecture which was fully adapted to the Marrakesh environment. Yusuf ibn Tashfin completed the mosque, built houses, minted coins and brought gold and silver to the city in caravans. The city became the capital of the Almoravid Emirate, stretching from the shores of Senegal to the center of Spain and from the Atlantic coast to Algiers.
The city was then fortified by Tashfin's son, Ali ibn Yusuf, who in 1122-1123 built the ramparts which remain to this day, completed further mosques and palaces and developed an underground water system in the city known as the rhettara to irrigate his new garden. In 1125, the preacher Ibn Tumert settled in Tin Mal in the mountains to the south of Marrakesh. He preached against the Almoravids and successfully influenced a revolt which led to the fall of nearby Aghmat, but an unsuccessful siege in 1130 in Marrakesh to capture the city.
In 1147, the Almohads, who espoused orthodox Islam and stemmed from the Masmouda tribes from the High Atlas, took the city under leader Abd el-Mumen. After a long siege and the killing of some 7000 people, the last of the Almoravids were exterminated apart from those who sought exile in the Balearic Islands. As a result, almost all the city's monuments were destroyed. The Almohads built a range of palaces and religious buildings, such including the famous Koutoubia Mosque between 1184 and 1199, constructed on the ruins of an Almoravid palace. It was a twin of the Giralda in Seville and the (unfinished) Hassan Tower in Rabat, all built by the same designer. The Kasbah housed the caliphate residence (from the reign of Abd al-Mumin the Almohad ruler bore the title of caliph, rivaling the far eastern Abbasid Caliphate). The Kasbah was named after the caliph Yaqub al-Mansur. To water the palm groves and parks including the new Menara Garden, the irrigation system was perfected  As a result of its cultural reputation, Marrakesh attracted many writers and artists, especially from Andalusia, including the famous philosopher Averroes of Cordoba, known for his commentaries on Aristotle.
The death of Yusuf II in 1224 began a period of instability. Marrakesh became the stronghold of the Almohad tribal sheikhs and the ahl ad-dar (descendants of Ibn Tumart), who sought to claw power back from the ruling Almohad family (the descendants of Abd al-Mu'min, who had their power base in Seville). Marrakesh was taken, lost and retaken by force multiple times by a stream of caliphs and pretenders. Among the notable events was the brutal seizure of Marrakesh by the Sevillan caliph Abd al-Wahid II al-Ma'mun in 1226, which was followed up by a massacre of the Almohad tribal sheikhs and their families and a public denunciation of Ibn Tumart's doctrines by the caliph from the pulpit of the Kasbah mosque. After al-Ma'mun's death in 1232, his widow tried to install her son, acquiring the support of the Almohad army chiefs and Spanish mercenaries with the promise to hand Marrakesh over to them for the sack. Hearing of the terms, the people of Marrakesh hurried to strike their own deal with the military captains and saved the city from destruction with a hefty cash payoff of 500,000 dinars. In 1269, Marrakesh was conquered by nomadic Zenata tribes who overran the last of the Almohads. The city then fell into a state of lethargy. Its decline soon led to the loss of its status as capital which was relinquished to its great rival, Fez.
In the early 16th century, Marrakesh again became the capital of the kingdom, after a period when it was the seat of the Hintata emirs. It quickly reestablished its status, especially during the reigns of the Saadian sultans Abu Abdallah al-Qaim and Ahmad al-Mansur. Thanks to the wealth amassed by the Sultans, Marrakesh was embellished with sumptuous palaces while its ruined monuments were restored. El Badi Palace, built by Ahmad al-Mansur in 1578, was a replica of the Alhambra Palace, made with the most precious materials from Italy (marble), Sudan (gold dust), India (porphyry) and even China (jade). The palace was intended primarily for hosting lavish receptions for ambassadors from Spain, England and the Ottoman Empire, showcasing Saadian Morocco as a nation whose power and influence reached as far as the borders of the Niger and Mali. Under the Saadian dynasty, Marrakesh regained its former position as a point of contact for caravan routes from the Maghreb, the Mediterranean and sub-Saharan African. As a trading center, Marrakesh had once influenced political polarization of the western Maghreb. The Portuguese had installed trading posts in numerous Muslim towns in the south including Azemmour in 1486 and Safi in 1488 and others, later.
For centuries Marrakesh has been known for its "seven saints". When sufism was at the height of its popularity, during the reign of Moulay Ismail, the festival of these saints was founded by Abu Ali al-Hassan al-Yusi at the request of the sultan. The tombs of several renowned figures were moved to Marrakesh to attract pilgrims in the same way Essaouira did at that time with its Regrega festivals. The seven saints (sebaatou rizjel) is now a firmly established institution. The saints include Sidi Bel Abbas (the patron saint of the city), Sidi Muhammad al-Jazuli, Sidi Abu al-Qasim Al-Suhayli, Cadi Ayyad ben Moussa, Abdelaziz al-Tebaa and Abdallah al-Ghazwani. 
Until 1867, individual Europeans were not permitted to enter the city unless they acquired special permission from the sultan. During the early 20th century, Marrakesh underwent several years of unrest. After the death in 1900 of the grand vizier Ba Ahmed, the empire's true regent until Abd al-Aziz of Morocco became of age, the country fell into the throes of anarchy, tribal revolts and plots of feudal lords, not to mention European intrigues. In 1907, Moulay Abd al-Hafid, caliph (representative of the Makhzen) of Marrakesh, was proclaimed sultan by the powerful tribes of the High Atlas and by Ulama scholars who denied the legitimacy of his brother Abd al-Aziz. It was also in 1907 that Dr. Mauchamp, a French doctor, was murdered in Marrakesh, suspected of spying for his country. France used the event as a pretext for sending its troops to Morocco from Oujda in the east to Casablanca in the west. The French colonial army nevertheless encountered strong resistance from Ahmed al-Hiba, a son of the great Sheikh Ma al-'Aynayn, who had come in from the Sahara with his nomadic warriors from the Reguibat tribes. On 30 March 1912, the French Protectorate in Morocco was established. After the Battle of Sidi Bou Othman, which saw the victory of the Mangin column over the al-Hiba forces in September 1912, the French seized Marrakesh. The conquest was facilitated by the rallying of the Imzwarn tribes and their leaders from the powerful Glaoui family and a massacre occurred here during the turmoil.
One of Imzwarn, T'hami El Glaoui, known as "Lord of the Atlas" became Pasha of Marrakesh, a post he held virtually throughout the 44 year duration of the Protectorate. Glaoui dominated the city, and became famous for his collaboration with the general residence authorities, culminating in a plot to dethrone Mohammed Ben Youssef (Mohammed V) so as to replace him with the Sultan's cousin, Ben Arafa. Thami El Glaoui, already known for his amorous adventures and lavish lifestyle, became an important symbol of Morocco's colonial order. He could not, however, subdue the rise of nationalist sentiment, nor the hostility of a growing proportion of the inhabitants. Nor could he resist pressure from France, who agreed to terminate its Moroccan Protectorate in view of the disastrous situation in Indochina and the beginning of the Algerian War. After two successive exiles (in Corsica and Madagascar), Mohammed Ben Youssef was allowed to return to Morocco in November 1955, bringing an end to the despotic rule of Glaoui over Marrakesh and the surrounding region.
Since the independence of Morocco, Marrakesh has thrived as a tourist destination. The city became a trendy location to visit for hippies in the 1960s and early 1970s, a "hippie mecca", attracting numerous western rock stars and musicians, artists, film directors and actors, models, and fashion divas. Tourism revenues doubled in Morocco between 1965 and 1970. Yves Saint Laurent, The Beatles, The Stones and Jean-Paul Getty all spent significant time in the city; Laurent bought a property here and renovated the Majorelle Gardens. Expatriates with stylistic aspirations, especially from France, have poured investment into the city since the 1960s, and developed many of the riads and palaces. Old buildings were renovated in the Old Medina, new residences and commuter villages were built in the suburbs, and new hotels began to spring up. United Nations agencies became active in Marrakesh from the 1970s and its political presence internationally has grown with it. In 1985, UNESCO declared the old town area of Marrakesh a UNESCO World Heritage Site, raising international awareness of the cultural heritage of the city. In the 1980s, Patrick Guerand-Hermes purchased the 30 acre Ain el Quassimou, built by the Tolstoy family; which is now part of Polo Club de la Palmarie. On April 15, 1994, the Marrakesh Agreement was signed here which established the World Trade Organization, and in March 1997, the World Water Council organized its First World Water Forum in Marrakesh, attended by some 500 people internationally.
In the 21st century property and real estate development in the city has boomed, with a dramatic increase of new hotels and shopping centres, fuelled by the policies of the Moroccan King Mohamed VI who has the goal of increasing the number of tourists visiting Morocco to 20 million a year by 2020. In 2010 a major gas explosion occurred in the city. On April 28, 2011, a bomb attack took place in the Djemaa el-Fna square of the city, killing 15 people, mainly foreigners. The blast destroyed the nearby Argana Cafe.
Geography and climate 
By road, Marrakesh is located 580 kilometres (360 mi) southwest of Tangier, 327 kilometres (203 mi) southwest of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, 239 kilometres (149 mi) southwest of Casablanca, 196 kilometres (122 mi) southwest of Beni Mellal, 177 kilometres (110 mi) east of Essaouira, and 246 kilometres (153 mi) northeast of Agadir. The city has expanded northwards from the old centre with suburbs such as Daoudiate, Diour El Massakine, Yamama, Sidi Abbad, Sakar, and Malizia, southeastwards with Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, westwards with Massima, and Hay Annahda and Berradi to the far southwest beyond the airport. On the P2017 road leading south out of the city are large villages such as Douar Lahna, Touggana, Lagouassem, and Lahebichate, leading eventually through desert to the town of Tahnaout at the edge of the High Atlas, the highest mountainous barrier in North Africa. The Ourika River valley is located about 30 kilometres (19 mi) south of Marrakesh. The "silvery valley of the Ourika river curving north towards Marrakesh", and the "red heights of Jebel Yagour still capped with snow" to the south are sights in this area. David Prescott Barrows, who describes Marrakesh as Morocco's "strangest city", describes the landscape, "The city lies some fifteen or twenty miles from the foot of the Atlas mountains, which here rise to their grandest proportions. The spectacle of the mountains is superb. Through the clear desert air the eye can follow the rugged contours of the range for great distances to the north and eastward. The winter snow mantle them with white, and the turquoise sky gives a setting for their grey rocks and gleaming caps that is of unrivaled beauty."
Beyond the 130,000 hectares of greenery and the 180,000 palm trees of its Palmeraie, Marrakesh is an oasis of great and rich plant variety. Throughout the seasons, orange, fig, pomegranate and olive trees spread their fragrances and display their color and luscious fruits in the gardens of the city such as Agdal Garden and Menara Garden. The precious gardens of the city conceal numerous native plants or other species that have been imported in the course of the centuries including giant bamboos, yuccas, papyrus, palm trees, banana trees, cypress, philodendrons, rosebushes, bougainvilleas, pines and various kinds of cactus plants.
Marrakesh features a semi-arid climate, with mild damp winters and hot dry summers. Average temperatures range from 12 degrees celsius in the winter to 28-29 degrees celsius in the summer. The relatively wet winter/dry summer precipitation pattern of Marrakesh mirrors precipitation patterns found in Mediterranean climates. However the city receives less rain than is typically found in a Mediterranean climate, hence the semi-arid climate classification. Between 1961 and 1990 the city averaged 281.3 millimetres (11.1 in) of rain annually. Barrows says of the climate, "The region of Marrakesh is frequently described as desert in character, but, to one familiar with the southwestern parts of the United States, the locality does not suggest the desert, but rather an area of seasonal rainfall, where moisture moves underground rather than by surface streams, and where low brush takes the place of the forests of more heavily watered regions. The location of Marrakesh on the north side of the Atlas, rather than the south, forbids its being described as a Saharan city, but it is the northern focus of the Saharan lines of communication, and its history, its types of dwellers, and its commerce and arts, are all related to the great south Atlas spaces which reach to Senegal and the Sudan."
|Climate data for Marrakesh, Morocco (1961-1990)|
|Average high °C (°F)||18.4
|Average low °C (°F)||5.5
|Rainfall mm (inches)||32.2
|Avg. rainy days||7.6||6.8||7.5||7.7||4.8||1.2||0.6||1.2||2.8||5.5||6.6||6.5||58.8|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||220.1||211.8||248.0||255.0||288.3||315.0||334.8||316.2||264.0||244.9||213.0||220.1||3,131.2|
|Source: Hong Kong Observatory|
Marrakesh is a vital component to the economy and culture of Morocco. Improvements to the highways between Casablanca and Agadir and the airport have led to a dramatic increase in tourism in the city, which now attracts over 2 million tourists annually. Because of the importance of tourism to Morocco's weak economy as a whole, King Mohammed VI has vowed to attract 20 million tourists a year to Morocco by 2020, doubling the number of tourists from 2012. The city is popular with the French, and many French celebrities have bought property in the city, including fashion moguls Yves St Laurent and Jean-Paul Gaultier. In the 1990s, very few foreigners lived in the city, but real estate developments have rocketed in the last 15 years, and by 2005 over 3,000 foreigners had purchased properties in the city, lured by its culture and the relatively cheap house prices. It has been cited in the French weekly magazine Le Point as the second St Tropez: "No longer simply a destination for a scattering of adventurous elites, bohemians or backpackers seeking Arabian Nights fantasies, Marrakech is becoming a desirable stopover for the European jet set." However, despite the tourism boom, the majority of the city's inhabitants are still poor, and as of 2010, some 20,000 households still have no access to water or electricity. Many enterprises in the city are facing colossal debt problems.
Despite the financial crisis, investments in real estate progressed substantially in 2011 both in the area of tourist accommodation and social housing. The main developments have been in facilities for tourists including hotels and leisure centres (golf courses and health spas), with investments of 10.9 bn dirham (USD 1.28 billion) in 2011. The hotel infrastructure in recent years has experienced rapid growth. In 2012 alone, 19 new hotels were due to open, a developing boom often compared to Dubai. Royal Ranches Marrakech, one of Gulf Finance House's flagship projects in Morocco, is a 380 hectare resort under development in the suburbs and one of the world's first five star Equestrian Resorts. The resort is expected to make a significant contribution to the local and national economy, creating many jobs and attracting thousands of visitors annually; as of April 2012 it was about 45% complete. The Avenue Mohammed VI, formerly Avenue de France, is a major city thoroughfare. It has seen rapid development of residential complexes and many luxury hotels. Avenue Mohammed VI contains what is claimed to be the largest nightclub of Africa, Pacha Marrakech, a trendy club attracting young people and clubbers, featuring house and electro music. It also has two large cinema complexes, Le Colisée à Gueliz and Cinéma Rif, and the new shopping precinct, Al Mazar.
Trade and crafts are also extremely important to the local economy, fueled by tourism. There are 18 souks in Marrakesh, employing over 40,000 in pottery, copperware, leather and other crafts. The souks contain a massive range of items from plastic sandals to fake Palestinian scarves, made in India or China. Local boutiques are adept at making western-style clothes using Moroccan materials. The Birmingham Post comments: "The souk offers an incredible shopping experience with a myriad of narrow winding streets that lead through a series of smaller markets clustered by trade. Through the squawking chaos of the poultry market, the gory fascination of the open-air butchers' shops and the uncountable number of small and specialist traders, just wandering around the streets can pass an entire day." Marrakesh has several supermarkets and hypermarkets including Marjane Acima, Asswak Salam and Carrefour, and three major shopping centers, Al Mazar Mall, Plaza Marrakech and Marjane Square; a branch of Carrefour opened in Al Mazar Mall in 2010.  Industrial production in the city is centred in the neighborhood of Sidi Ghanem Al Massar, containing large factories, workshops, storage depots and showrooms. Ciments Morocco, a subsidiary of the Italian firm has a factory in Marrakech. The AeroExpo Marrakech International Exhibition of aeronautical industries and services is held here as is the Riad Art Expo: Tradeshow Moroccan art of living.
Politics and administration 
Marrakesh, the regional capital, forms a prefecture-level administrative unit of Morocco, divided into Marrakesh-Medina, Marrakesh-Menara and Sidi Youssef Ben Ali, which form part of the region of Marrakesh-Tensift-El Haouz along with Al Haouz Province, Chichaoua Province, El Kelâat Es-Sraghna Province, and Essaouira Province. Marrakesh is a major centre for law and jurisdiction in Morocco and most of the major courts of the region are located here. These include the regional Court of Appeal, the Commercial Court, the Administrative Court, the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeal of Commerce, and the Administrative Court of Appeal. Numerous organizations of the region are based here including the regional government administrative offices, the Regional Council of Tourism office, and regional public maintenance organizations such as the Governed Autonomous Water Supply and Electricity and Maroc Telecom.
Testament to Marrakesh's development as a modern city, on June 12, 2009, Fatima-Zahra Mansouri, a then 33 year-old lawyer and daughter of a former assistant to the local authority chief in Marrakesh, was elected the first female mayor of the city, defeating outgoing Mayor Omar Jazouli by 54 votes to 35 in a municipal council vote. Mansouri became only the second woman in the history of Morocco to obtain a mayoral position in Morocco after Asma Chaabi, mayor of Essaouira. The Secretary General of her Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) Mohamed Cheikh Biadillah stated that "her election reflects the image of a modern Morocco." However, her appointment was shrouded in controversy and resulted in her temporarily losing her seat the following month after a court ruled that the election had been fixed. The court found that "some ballots were distributed before the legal date and some vote records were destroyed." Her party called for a 48-hour strike to "protest the plot against the democratic process." On 7 July 2011, Mansouri presented her resignation from the city council of Marrakesh, but reconsidered her decision the next day.
Since the legislative elections in November 2011, the ruling political party in Marrakesh has, for the first time, been the Justice and Development Party or PDJ which also rules at the national level. The party, which advocates Islamism and Islamic democracy, won five seats while the PAM won three and the National Rally of Independents or RNI, one. In the partial legislative elections for the Guéliz Ennakhil constituency in October 2012, the PDJ under the leadership of Ahmed El Moutassadik was again the winner with 10,452 votes. The PAM, consisting essentially of friends of King Mohammed VI, was in second place with 9,794 votes.
Jemaa el-Fnaa 
|Medina of Marrakesh|
|Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List|
|Criteria||i, ii, iv, v|
|UNESCO region||Arab States|
|Inscription||1985 (9th Session)|
The Jemaa el-Fnaa or Djemaa el Fna, is one of the most famous squares in all of Africa and is the centre of city activity and trade. It has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage site since 1985. The name roughly means "the assembly of trespassers" or malefactors. Jemaa el-Fnaa was renovated along with much of the Marrakech city, whose walls were extended by Abu Yaqub Yusuf and particularly by Yaqub al-Mansur in 1147-1158. The surrounding mosque, palace, hospital, parade ground and gardens around the edges of the marketplace were also overhauled, and the Kasbah was fortified. Subsequently, with the fortunes of the city, Jemaa el-Fnaa saw periods of decline and also renewal. Historically this square was used for public executions and decapitations by the rulers to maintain their power by frightening the people. The square attracted dwellers from the surrounding desert and mountains to trade here and stalls were set up on the square from early in its history. The square attracted tradesmen in foods, animal forage and domestic items, snake charmers ("wild, dark, frenzied men with long disheveled hair falling over their naked shoulders"), Berber women in long robes, camels and donkeys, dancing boys of the Chleuh Atlas tribe, and shrieking musicians with pipes, tambourines and African drums. Richard Hamilton said that Jemaa el-Fnaa once "reeked of Berber particularism, of backward-looking, ill-educated countrymen, rather than the reformist, pan-Arab internationalism and command economy that were the imagined future." Today the square attracts people from a diversity of social and ethnic backgrounds and tourists from all around the world. Snake charmers, acrobats, magicians, mystics, musicians, monkey trainers, herb sellers, story-tellers, dentists, pickpockets, and entertainers in medieval garb still populate the square. It has been described as a "world-famous square", "a metaphorical urban icon, a bridge between the past and the present, the place where (spectacularized) Moroccan tradition encounters modernity."
Marrakesh has the largest traditional Berber market in Morocco and the image of the city is closely associated with its souks. Paul Sullivan cites the souks as the principal shopping attraction in the city, describing it as "a honeycomb of intricately connected alleyways, this fundamental section of the old city is a micro-medina in itself, comprising a dizzying number of stalls and shops that range from itsy kiosks no bigger than an elf's wardrobe to scruffy store-fronts that morph into glittering Aladdin's Caves once you're inside." Historically the souks of Marrakesh were divided into areas of retail, including leather, carpets, metalwork, pottery, etc. The areas are still roughly ordered but there is significant overlap today. Many of the souks sell items such as carpets and rugs, traditional Muslim attire, leather bags, and lanterns etc. Haggling is still a very important part of trade in the souks.
One of the largest souks is Souk Semmarine selling anything from brightly coloured bejewelled sandals and slippers and leather pouffes to jewellery and kaftans. Souk Ableuh contains stalls which specialize in the retail of olives, a variety of types and colours including green, red, and black olives, lemons, chilis, capers, and pickles and mint, a common ingredient of Moroccan cuisine and tea. Similarly, Souk Kchacha specializes in dried fruit and nuts, including dates and figs, walnuts, cashews and apricots. Rahba Qedima contains stalls selling hand-woven baskets, natural perfumes, knitted hats, scarves and t shirts, Ramadan tea, ginseng, and alligator and iguana skins. Criee Berbiere, to the northeast of this market, is noted for its dark Berber carpets and rugs. Souk Siyyaghin is noted for its jewellery, and Souk Smata nearby is noted for its extensive collection of babouches and belts. Souk Cherratine specializes in leatherware, and Souk Belaarif sells modern consumer goods. Souk Haddadine specializes in ironware and lanterns.
Ensemble Artisanal is a government-run complex of small arts and crafts which has a reasonable range of goods dealing with leather, textiles and carpets. In the workshop at the back of this shop young people are taught a range of crafts.
City walls and gates 
The ramparts stretch for some 19 kilometres (12 mi) around the medina of the city. They were built by the Almoravids in the 12th century to fortify the city. Made of a distinct orange-red clay and chalk which gives the city its nickname as the "red city", the walls, which stand up to 19 feet (5.8 m) high, have some 20 gates and 200 towers along it. Bab Agnaou was built in the 12th century in the time of the Almohad dynasty. The name Agnaou, like Gnaoua, in Berber refers to black people (cf. Akal-n-iguinawen - land of the black). The gate was called Bab al Kohl (also referring to black people) or Bab al Qsar (palace gate) in some historical sources. The corner-pieces are decorated with floral decorations extending around a shell. This ornamentation is framed by three panels and on these panels is an inscription from the Quran in Maghribi, foliated Kufic letters, which were also used in Al-Andalus. Bab Agnaou was renovated and its opening reduced in size, during the rule of sultan Mohammed ben Abdallah. Bab Aghmat - Bab Aghmat is located east of the Jewish and Muslim cemeteries, and is near the tomb of Ali ibn Yusuf. Bab Berrima with its "solid towers" stands near the Badi Palace. Bab er Robb (meaning Lord's gate) is a southern gate exit to the city, near Bab Agnaou. Built in the 1100s, it leads to the roads up to the mountain towns of Amizmiz and Asni. Bab el Khémis is one of the city's main gates, situated in the medina's northeastern corner and has a man-made spring.
The Menara gardens are gardens located to the west of the city, at the gates of the Atlas mountains. They were built in the 12th century (c. 1130) by the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min. The name menara derives from the pavilion with its small green pyramid roof (menzeh). The pavilion was built during the 16th century Saadi dynasty and renovated in 1869 by sultan Abderrahmane of Morocco, who used to stay here in summertime. The pavilion and basin (an artificial lake) are surrounded by orchards and olive groves. The intention of the basin was to irrigate the surrounding gardens and orchards using a sophisticated system of underground channels called a qanat. The basin is supplied with water thanks to an old hydraulic system which conveys water from the mountains located approximately 30 kilometres (19 mi) away from Marrakech. There is also a small amphitheater and a symmetrical pool, where 3D films of old battles are screened. Carp fish can be seen in the pond.
The Majorelle Garden, on Av Yacoub el Mansour, was at one time the home of the landscape painter, Jacques Majorelle. The designer, Yves Saint Laurent, bought and restored the property, which features a stele erected in his memory, and the Museum of Islamic Art, which is housed in a dark blue building. The garden, open to the public since 1947, has a large collection of plants of five continents. All the plants have descriptive signs and the commonly seen plants are cacti, palms and bamboo. It is very well laid out with pools with lilies, and pathways.
The Agdal Gardens are located south of the medina. Also built in the 12th century, they are royal orchards surrounded by pise walls. Measuring 400 hectares (990 acres) in size, the gardens feature citrus, apricot, pomegranate, olive and cypress trees. It contains another basin, this one filled with carp, retention ponds, working orchards, and flower paths. Sultan Moulay Hassan's harem resided at the Dar al Baida pavilion, which was situated with Agdal Gardens. Apart from the pavilions the place is known for a swimming pool used by soldiers; a Sultan is also reported to have drowned here.
The Koutoubia Gardens are situated behind the Koutoubia Mosque; it features orange and palm trees, and is frequented by storks. The Mamounia Gardens, more than 100 years old, named after Prince Moulay Mamoun, has olive and orange trees, with flower beds and different kinds of flora which make it a pleasant experience to walk around in a formal dress.
Palaces and Riads 
Wealth in the city is manifested in palaces and many other mansions and lavish houses.The main palaces are Badi Palace, the Royal Palace and Bahia Palace. Mansions, known as riads, are common in Marrakesh, defined as "traditional courtyarded homes" which are "based on the Roman villa, with a large interior garden surrounded by high walls to obscure it from the view of passers-by, the principle of the construction was to allow privacy and cooler temperatures inside."  Buildings of note inside the Medina are Riad Argana, Riad Obry, Riad Enija, Riad el Mezouar, Riad Frans Ankone, Dar Moussaine, Riad Lotus, Dar Marzotto, Dar Darma, and Riad Pinco Pallino. Others of note outside the Medina area include Ksar Char Bagh, Amanjena, Villa Maha, Dar Ahlam, Dar Alhind and Dar Tayda.
Badi Palace 
The Badi Palace or Badii Palace, along with the Royal Palace, flanks the eastern side of the Kasbah. It was built by Saadian Ahmad al-Mansur after his success against the Portuguese at the Battle of the Three Kings in 1578. The lavish palace, which took around a quarter of a century to build, was funded by compensation from the Portuguese and Black African gold and sugar cane revenue. This allowed Carrara marble to be imported from Italy, other materials coming from France, Spain and even India. It is a larger version of the Alhambra's Court of the Lions. The Marrakech Folklore Festival is held in the spring at the palace. The palace is now a ruin, where mainly the outer walls remain.
Royal Palace 
The Royal Palace, also known as Dar el-Makhzen, is located next to the Badi Palace. It was built on the site of the Almohad kasba, by the Almohads in the 12th century and underwent changes by the Saadians in the 16th century and the Alaouites in the 17th century. Historically, it was one of the palace owned by the Moroccan king, and the palace employed some of the most genial craftsmen in the city. One visitor in the mid-1980s described the reception room which was "filled with Grand Concourse-repro Victorian settees covered in white-and-gold." The palace is not open to the public, and is now privately owned by French businessman Dominique du Beldi. The rooms are large, with unusually high ceilings for Marrakech, with zellige and cedar painted ceilings. At the entrance is an ancient pulley fastened to the ceiling.
Bahia Palace 
The Bahia Palace, set in extensive gardens, was built in the late 19th century by the Grand Vizier of Marrakesh, Si Ahmed ben Musa (Bou-Ahmed). Bou Ahmed resided here with his four wives, 24 concubines and many children. With a name meaning "brilliance", it was intended to be the greatest palace of its time and, as in similar developments of the period in other countries, it was designed to capture the essence of the Islamic and Moroccan style. Bou-Ahmed paid special attention to the privacy of the palace in its construction and employed architectural features such as multiple doors which prevented unwelcome views of the interior. The palace took seven years to build, with hundreds of craftsmen from Fes working on its wood, carved stucco and zellij. The palace acquired a reputation as one of the finest in Morocco and was the envy of other wealthy citizens. Upon the death of Bou-Ahmed, the palace was raided by Sultan Abdel Aziz. There is a 2 acre (8,000 m²) garden with rooms opening onto courtyards.
Koutoubia Mosque 
Koutoubia Mosque, also known as Kutubiyya Mosque, Jami' al-Kutubiyah, Kutubiyyin Mosque, and Mosque of the Booksellers, is the largest mosque in the city, located in the southwest medina quarter of Marrakesh aside the square. The minaret, 77 metres (253 ft) in height, includes a spire and orbs. It was completed under the reign of the Almohad Caliph Yaqub al-Mansur (1184 to 1199), and has inspired other buildings such as the Giralda of Seville and the Hassan Tower of Rabat. The mosque is made of red stone and brick in a traditional Almohad style, and measures 80 metres (260 ft) in width towards the east and 60 metres (200 ft) to the west along a north to south direction. It was designed so as to prevent anyone gazing in from the minaret to the harems of the king.There are four entrances to the mosque, of which three open directly into the prayer hall. There are six interior rooms, one above the other. The minaret is designed in Umayyad style and was constructed of sandstone. It was originally covered with Marrakshi pink plaster, but in the 1990s, experts opted to expose the original stone work and removed the plaster. The spire includes gilded copper balls, decreasing in size towards the top, a traditional style of Morocco.
Ben Youssef Mosque 
Located in the medina with a green tiled roof and a minaret, Ben Youssef or Ben Yusef is the oldest mosque in the city. It was originally built in the 12th century by the Almoravid Sultan Ali ibn Yusuf in honor of Yusuf ibn Ali al-Sanhaji ("Sidi Yusef ben Ali"). When built it was the city's largest mosque but now it is half of its original size. It was rebuilt by Saadian Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib, as the original had fallen into ruin. He also built a madrasa with a very well stocked library of books beside the mosque. However, this also fell into ruin, leaving only today's 19th-century mosque.
The Almoravid Koubba Ba’adiyn, also known as Kobbat el Mourabitine or Kobba el Boroudiyine, is a two storied kiosk which was discovered in 1948 from a sunken location on the mosque site. In the Moroccan architectural style, it is a double storied structure with arches, scalloped on the ground floor and twin horseshoe shaped in the first floor, combined with a turbaned motif. The dome is framed with a battlement decorated with arches and seven pointed stars. The interior of the octagonally arched dome is decorated with very distinguishing carvings bordered by a Kufic freeze inscribed with the name of the creator, Ali ibn Yusuf. The quinches at the corner of the dome are covered with muqarnas. The kiosk has motifs of pine cones, palms and acanthus leaves which are also replicated in the Ben Youssef Madrasa.
Mouassine Mosque 
The Mouassine Mosque (also known as the Al Ashraf Mosque) was built by the Marinids in the 14th century in the style of the Almohads. It is part of the Mouassine complex which includes a library, a hamman, a madrasa and the Mouassine Fountain, the largest and most important in the city. Located on a small square to the north of the mosque, it is a tripled-arched fountain of Saadian origin. It is ingrained with geometric patterns and calligraphy.
Saadian Tombs 
The Saadian Tombs were built in the 16th century as a mausoleum to bury many Saadian rulers and entertainers. It was lost for many years until the French rediscovered it in 1917 using aerial photographs. The mausoleum comprises the corpses of about sixty members of the Saadi Dynasty that originated in the valley of the Draa River. Among the graves are those of Ahmad al-Mansur and his family. The building is composed of three rooms, of which the best known is the room with the twelve columns. This room contains the grave of the son of the sultan's son Ahmad al-Mansur. Architecturally it represents Islamic architecture, with floral motifs, calligraphy and geometric mosaic tiles (zellij) and carrara marble, and the stele is in finely worked cedar wood and stucco work. Outside the building is a garden and the graves of soldiers and servants.
Seven Saints Tombs 
In the Medina of Marrakesh, there are seven tombs of the “Patron Saints of Morocco”, which are visited every year by pilgrims on successive days during the ziara (a week long pilgrimage) It is believed that these saints are only sleeping and will wake up one day to do good deeds. A pilgrimage to the tombs was considered as an alternative to pilgrimage to Mecca and Madina for people of western Morocco who could not visit due to arduous journey involved. The most important of the seven tombs is the shrine of Sidi bel Abbas. The spiritual tour, known as the Visit of the Seven Men of Marrakech, includes a rotary movement as an expression of the quest for inner perfection. The tour of the Seven Saints Tombs follows the city's configuration rather than the Patron Saints' chronological order. Performed on Fridays, the tour follows a sequence: Sidi Yusuf ibn Ali Sanhaji, Sidi al-Qadi Iyyad al-Yahsubi, Sidi Abul Abbas Sabti, Sidi Mohamed ibn Sulayman al-Jazouli, Sidi Abdellaziz Tabba'a, Sidi Abdellah al-Ghazwani, and lastly, the tomb of Sidi Abderrahman al-Suhayli.
The mellah (old Jewish Quarter) is situated in the kasbah area of the city's medina, east of Place des Ferblantiers. It was created in 1558 by the Saâdians at the site where the sultan's stables had previously been situated. At the time, the Jewish community consisted of a large portion of the city's bankers, jewelers, metalworkers, and tailors, and sugar traders. During the 16th century, the Mellah had its own fountains, gardens, synagogues, and souks. Up to the French arrival in 1912, Jews could not own property outside of the Mellah, so expansion occurred within its quarter, explaining the narrow streets, small shops, and higher placement of houses. The present Mellah, now named Hay Essalam, is smaller than the original one, and has an almost entirely Muslim population within its largely residential quarter. The Alzama Synagogue is built around a courtyard. The Jewish cemetery, the largest Jewish cemetery in Morocco, characterized by white-washed tombs and sandy graves, is adjacent to the mellah, within the medina.
As one of the biggest tourist cities in Africa, Marrakech has over 400 hotels. Mamounia Hotel, also known as Hôtel La Mamounia, is a 5-star hotel in the Art Deco-Moroccan fusion style, built in 1925 by Henri Prost and A. Marchis. It is considered the most eminent hotel of the city, cited as the "grand dame of Marrakesh hotels." The hotel has hosted numerous internationally renowned people including Winston Churchill, Charles, Prince of Wales and Mick Jagger. Churchill used to relax within the gardens of the hotel and paint there. The 231-room hotel, , which contains a casino, was refurbished in 1986 and again in 2007 by French designer Jacques Garcia. Other hotels include Eden Andalou Hotel, Hotel Marrakech, Sofitel Marrakech, Royal Mirage Hotel, Piscina del Hotel, and Palmeraie Golf Palace. In March 2012, Accor opened its first Pullman-branded hotel in Marrakech, Pullman Marrakech Palmeraie Resort & Spa. Set in a 17 hectare olive grove at La Palmeraie, the hotel has 252 rooms, 16 suites, six restaurants and a 535 square metres (5,760 sq ft)congress room.
Marrakech Museum 
The Marrakech Museum is located in the old centre, housed in the Dar Menebhi Palace, built at the end of the 19th century by Mehdi Menebhi. The palace was carefully restored by the Omar Benjelloun Foundation and converted into a museum in 1997. The house itself represents an example of classical Andalusian architecture, with fountains in the central courtyard, traditional seating areas, a hammam and intricate tilework and carvings. It has been cited as having "an orgy of stalactite stucco-work" which "drips from the ceiling and combines with a mind-boggling excess of zellij work." The museum holds exhibits of both modern and traditional Moroccan art together with fine examples of historical books, coins and pottery of Moroccan Jewish, Berber and Arab cultures.
Dar Si Said Museum 
Dar Si Said Museum, also known as the Museum of Moroccan Arts is located to the north of the Bahia Palace, right from the Rue Riad Ziroun el-Jedid. It was formerly the house of the brother of Bou-Ahmed, Sisi Said. The collection of the museum is considered to be one of the finest in Morocco, with "jewellery from the High Atlas, the Anti Atlas and the extreme south; carpets from the Haouz and the High Atlas; oil lamps from Taroudannt; blue pottery from Safi and green pottery from Tamgroute; and leatherwork from Marrakesh."
Museum of Islamic Art 
The Museum of Islamic Art (Musée d'Art Islamique) is a blue-coloured building located in the Marjorelle Gardens. The private museum was created by Yves Saint Laurent and Pierre Bergé in Jacques Majorelle's home, who had his studio there. Recently renovated, its small exhibition rooms have displays of Islamic artifacts and decorations including Irke pottery, polychrome plates, jewellery, and antique doors.
Music, theatre and dance 
There are two types of music which are popular in Marrakesh, the Gnaoua music which is loud and funky and Berber music, influenced by Andalucian classical music. The classical music is accompanied by strum chords from ouds which resonate. The Gnaoua music is sung in “catchy and bluesy tunes, with handmade instruments such as castanets, ribabs (three-stringed banjos) and a number of deffs (handheld drums), in crescendo which takes the audience into a mood of trance. This music is said to have emerged in Marrakesh and Essaouira as a ritual of deliverance from slavery. Several female music groups have also emerged in Marrakech.
Théâtre Royal de Marrakesh, Institut Français and Dar Chérifa are major performing arts institutions in the city. The Théâtre Royal, built by Tunisian architect Charles Boccara with columns, puts on theatrical performances of comedy, opera, and dance in French and Arabic. A greater number perform outdoors and entertain tourists on the main square and the streets, especially at night. Christopher Hudson of the Daily Mail noted that "men dressed as women performed bawdy street theatre, to the delight of a ring of onlookers of all ages."
Marrakshi arts and architecture have always been popular. Riad décor is widely used in carpets and textiles, ceramics, woodwork, metal work and zelij. Carpets and textiles are weaved, sewn or embroidered, sometimes used for upholstering. Moroccan women who practice craftsmanship are known as Maalems (expert craft people). They make Berber carpets and evening wraparounds made of sabra (cactus silk). Ceramics are in monochrome Berber-style only, a limited tradition depicting bold forms and decorations.
Wood crafts are generally made of cedar, including the riad doors and palace ceilings. Orange wood is used for making ladles known as harira (lentil soup ladles). Thuya craft products are made of caramel coloured thuya wood, conifers indigenous to Morocco. Since this species is almost extinct, they are being reforested and promoted by the cooperative artisanale Femmes de Marrakech.
Metal work made in Marrakesh includes brass lamps, lanterns made of iron, candle holders (made from recycled sardine tins), brass teapots and tea trays (engraved and well polished), used in the traditional serving of tea. Contemporary art is in the form of sculpture and figurative paintings; popular artifacts are blue veiled Tuareg figurines, Delacroix based musket-carrying horsemen, calligraphy paintings and installations are becoming more popular.
Festivals, both national and Islamic, are celebrated in Marrakesh and throughout the country, and some of them are observed as national holidays. Cultural festivals of note held in Marrakesh include the National Folklore Festival, the Marrakech Festival of Popular Arts, in which a variety of famous Moroccan musicians and artists participate, and the Berber Festival, to entertain tourists.  The International Film Festival of Marrakech, which inspires to be the North African version of the Cannes Film Festival, was established in 2001. The festival, which showcases over 100 films from around the world annually, has attracted Hollywood stars such as Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Susan Sarandon, Jeremy Irons, Roman Polanski and many European, Arabic and Indian film stars.
Marrakesh has several universities and schools, including Cadi Ayyad University (also known as the University of Marrakech), and its component, the École nationale des sciences appliquées de Marrakech (ENSA Marrakech), which was created in 2000 by the Ministry of Higher Education and specializes in engineering and scientific research. Cadi Ayyad University was established in 1978 and operates 13 institutions in the Marrakech Tensift Elhaouz and Abda Doukkala regions of Morocco in 4 main cities, including Kalaa of Sraghna, Essaouira and Safi aside from Marrakech. Sup de Co Marrakech, also known as the École supérieure de commerce de Marrakech, is a private four-year college based in Marrakesh, founded in 1987 by Ahmed Bennis. The school is affiliated to École supérieure de commerce de Toulouse of France, and since 1995, the school has built many partnership programs with numerous American universities including the University of Delaware, University of St. Thomas, Oklahoma State University, National-Louis University, and Temple University. Also of note is the Lycée Hassan II. The poet of the city was Mohammed Ben Brahim and his favorite place was café Al-Masraf. The poems and songs of Ben Brahim are still known by heart by many Marrakshi.
Ben Youssef Madrasa 
The Ben Youssef Madrasa, located to the north of the Medina, was an Islamic college in Marrakesh, named after the Almoravid sultan Ali ibn Yusuf (reigned 1106–1142), who expanded the city and its influence considerably. It is the largest Medrasa in all of Morocco and was one of the largest theological colleges in North Africa and may have housed as many as 900 students.
The college was founded during the period of the Marinid (14th century) by the Marinid sultan Abu al-Hassan and allied to the neighbouring Ben Youssef Mosque. This education complex in Koranic teachings was part of similar institutions in Fez, Taza, Tale, and Meknes. The Madrasa was re-constructed by the Saadian Sultan Abdallah al-Ghalib (1557–1574) in 1564 as the largest and unrivaled madrasa in Morocco. In 1565 the works ordered by Abdallah al-Ghalib were finished, as attested by the inscription in the prayer room. Its 130 student dormitory cells cluster around a courtyard richly carved in cedar, marble and stucco. In accordance with Islam, the carvings contain no representation of humans or animals, consisting entirely of inscriptions and geometric patterns. One of the school's best known teachers was Mohammed al-Ifrani (1670-1745). Closed down in 1960, the building was refurbished and reopened to the public as a historical site in 1982.
Football clubs based in Marrakech include Najm de Marrakech, KAC Marrakech, Mouloudia de Marrakech and Chez Ali Club de Marrakech. It contains the Marrakech Street Circuit a 4.624 kilometres (2.873 mi) circuit which hosts races of the World Touring Car Championship, Formula 2 and Auto GP World Series. The Marrakech Marathon is also held here. Roughly 5000 runners turn out for the event annually.
Golf is a popular sport in Merrakech. The city has three golf courses, located just outside the city limits and played almost through the year. The three popular courses are: The Golf de Amelikis, Route de Ourazazate; the Palmeraie Golf Palace, Palmeraie; and the Royal Golf Club, the oldest and royal of the three courses, surrounded by a thick forest in the backdrop of Atlas Mountains and with tree species of cypress, eucalyptus and palm.
Transport and communications 
Marrakesh railway station is well linked by rail transport with several trains running daily to other major cities in Morocco such as Casablanca, Tangiers, Fez, Meknes and Rabat. There is not a night train which runs from Marrakesh to Tangier. A modern high speed TGV (French: Train à Grande Vitesse, meaning high-speed train) rail system has been planned. The main road network is well surfaced. The major highway connecting Marrakesh with Casablanca to the south is A7, a toll expressway, 210 km (130 mi) in length. The road from Marrakesh to Settat, a 145 km (90 mi) stretch was inaugurated by King Mohammed VI in April 2007, completing the 558 km (347 mi) highway to Tangiers. Another new road connects Marrakesh to Agadir, 233 km (145 mi) to the west.
Marrakesh-Menara Airport (RAK) is 3 km (1.9 mi) southwest of the city centre. It is an international facility that receives several European flights as well as flights from Casablanca and some of the Arab world nations. The airport is located at an elevation of 471 metres (1,545 ft) at . It has two formal passenger terminals, but these are more or less combined into one large terminal. A third terminal is being built. The existing T1/T2 terminals offer a space of 42,000 m2 (450,000 sq ft) and has a design capacity of 4.5 million passengers/year. The blacktopped runway is 4.5 km (2.8 mi) long and 45 m (148 ft) wide. The airport has parking space for 14 B737 and 4 B747 aircraft. The separate freight-terminal has 340 m2 (3,700 sq ft) of covered space.
Marrakech has long been an important centre for healthcare in Morocco, and many rural people in the region are reliant upon hospitals in the city, in addition to the urban population.
The psychiatric hospital installed by the Merinid Caliph Ya'qub al-Mansur in the 16th century was described by the historian 'Abd al-Wahfd al- Marrakushi as one of the greatest in the world at the time. A strong Andalusian influence was evident in the hospital, and many of the physicians to the Caliphs came from places such as Seville, Zaragoza and Denia in eastern Spain.
A severe strain has been placed upon the healthcare facilities of the city in the last decade as the city population has grown dramatically. Ibn Tofail University Hospital is one of the major hospitals of the city. In February 2001 the Moroccan Government signed an $8 million loan agreement with the The OPEC Fund for International Development to help improve medical services in and around Marrakech, which led to expansions of Ibn Tofail and Ibn Nafess Hospital. Seven new buildings were constructed, with a total floor area of 43,000 square metres (460,000 sq ft). New radiotherapy and medical equipment was provided and 29,000 square metres (310,000 sq ft) of existing hospital space rehabilitated.
In 2009, King Mohammed VI inaugurated a regional psychiatric hospital in Marrakech, built by the Mohammed V Foundation for Solidarity, costing 22 million dirhams ($2.7 million). The hospital has 194 beds, covering an area of 3 hectares (7.4 acres). Mohammed has also announced plans for the construction of a 450 million dirham military hospital in Marrakech.
Notable residents 
In popular culture 
See also 
Sister cities 
- Central Intelligence Agency (12 October 2011). The CIA World Factbook 2012. Skyhorse Publishing Inc. p. 2006. ISBN 978-1-61608-332-8. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- "Recensement général de la population et de l'habitat de 2004". Haut-commissariat au Plan, Lavieeco.com. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- "Biography of Fatima Zahra MANSOURI". African Success. Retrieved 27 October 2012.
- Bosworth 1989, p. 588.
- Cornell 1998, p. 15.
- Nanjira 2010, p. 208.
- Egginton & Pitz 2010, p. 11.
- Shillington 2005, p. 948.
- Searbright 1999, p. 378.
- Bosworth 1989, p. 593.
- Gottreich 2007, p. 10.
- Rogerson & Lavington 2004.
- Naylor 2009, p. 90.
- Gerteiny 1967, p. 28.
- The Rotarian. Rotary International. July 2005. p. 14. ISSN 0035838X. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- Lehmann & Henss 2012, p. 292.
- Barrows 2004, p. 85.
- Cenival (1913-38: p.300; 2007: p.324)
- Lehmann & Henss 2012, p. 57.
- Orange Coast Magazine. Emmis Communications. February 1996. p. 46. ISSN 02790483. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Delbeke & Schraven 2011, p. 185.
- Bosworth 1989, p. 591.
- Loizillon 2008, p. 50.
- Chisholm, Hugh, General Editor. Entry for 'Marrakesh'. 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica (1910).
- Dahloff 2012, p. 117.
- Barrows 2004, p. 73.
- Lehmann & Henss 2012, p. 84.
- Hoisington 2004, p. 109.
- Christiani 2010, p. 38.
- Edwards 2005, p. 348.
- Sullivan 2007, p. 8.
- Howe 2005, p. 46.
- Shackley 2012, p. 43.
- Louka 2006, p. 383.
- Water Resources and International Law. Academie De Droit, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. 30 June 2002. p. 71. ISBN 978-90-411-1864-6. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "Morocco: Marrakesh bomb strikes Djemaa el-Fna square". BBC. 28 April 2011. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- Google Maps. Maps (Map).
- Searight 1999, p. 407.
- Rogerson & Lavington & 2004 p.49.
- Lehmann & Henss 2012, p. 310.
- "Climatological Information for Marrakech, Morocco". Hong Kong Observatory. 2003. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Barrows 2004, p. 74.
- "WORLD TRAVEL: Africa's beating heart; Marrakech, no longer a hippy paradise, is still a vital centre of economy and culture in Morocco.". The Birmingham Post via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 2 September 2006. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Duncan, Fiona. "The best Marrakesh hotels". The Telegraph. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Marrakech is the new Costa del Sol: for a host of Western celebrities, Marrakech in Morocco has become the place to be seen at and increasingly, to live in. Where celebrities go, the lesser folk are bound to follow. The result is that Morocco's economy and its culture is changing--but for the better or for the worse?". African Business via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 1 March 2005. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Fatima Zahra Mansouri, première dame de Marrakech" (in French). Jeune Afrique. 25 January 2010. Retrieved 28 October 2012.
- "La reprise de la croissance du secteur immobilier à Marrakech", 28 February 2012. (French) Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "Marrakech, Morocco Sees Hotel Boom", Huffington Post, 19 July 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- "Royal Ranches Marrakech' closes land sale with Equine Management Services". Mena Report via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 2 October 2008. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Bahrain : Royal Ranches Marrakech inks MoU with BMCE.(Memorandum of Understanding )(Banque Marocaine de Commerce Exteriur )". Mena Report via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 13 April 2012. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Humphrys 2010, p. 9.
- Misc. (1 June 2008). Cool Restaurants Top of the World. teNeues. p. 274. ISBN 978-3-8327-9233-6. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Humphrys 2010, p. 161.
- The Report: Morocco 2011. Oxford Business Group. p. 100. ISBN 978-1-907065-30-9. Retrieved 9 October 2012.
- "Nos usines et centres L'usine de Marrakech" (in French). Ciments du Maroc. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "L'Organisation Judicaire" (in French). Le Ministère de la Justice. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- "Adresses Utiles" (in French). Chambre de Commerce, D'Industrie et des Services de Marrakech. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- "Morocco's Marrakech elects first woman mayor". Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia) via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 21 June 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Morocco mayor's unseating prompts strike calls". Al Arabiya (Saudi Arabia) via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 14 July 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "فاطمة الزهراء المنصوري تستقيل من عمودية مراكش" (in Arabic). Hespress.com. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- "Législatives 2011 – Marrakech: Grosse défaite pour les partis de la Koutla", L'Economiste, 28 November 2011. (French) Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "Législatives partielles: Marrakech: Le PJD garde son siège", L'Economiste. (French) Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- Harrison, p. 144.
- Barrows 2004, p. 76-8.
- "UNESCO World Heritage Convention". UNESCO. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- Hamilton 2011, p. 13.
- Here Publishing (March 2003). Out. Here Publishing. pp. 73–5. ISSN 10627928. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Pons, Crang & Travlou 2009, p. 39.
- Sullivan 2006, p. 148.
- Sullivan 2010, p. 148.
- Christiani 2010, p. 51.
- Christiani 2010, p. 50.
- Christiani 2010, p. 49.
- Christiani 2010, p. 52.
- Jacobs, Daniel (18 October 2012). Pocket Rough Guide Marrakesh. Penguin. ISBN 9781409358824.
- Christiani 2010, p. 43.
- Gottreich 2007, p. 117.
- Searight 1999, p. 402.
- Gottreich 2007, p. 106.
- Febvre 1988, p. 1401.
- Christiani & 2010 101.
- Sullivan 2007, p. 147.
- "History". Fondation Pierre Bergé - Yves Saint Laurent. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
- Davies & 2009 111.
- Suliivan 2007, pp. 145-146.
- Wilbaux & 2009 380.
- Suliivan 2007, p. 145.
- Suliivan 2007, p. 146.
- Davies 2009, p. 104.
- Listri & Rey 2006, p. 3.
- Bloom 2009, p. 466.
- Searight 1999, p. 403.
- Aldosar, p. 1253.
- Listri & Rey 2006, p. 72.
- New York Magazine. New York Media, LLC. 24 March 1986. p. 33. ISSN 00287369. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- Listri & Rey 2006, p. 72, 75.
- Hardy, Vorhees & Edsall 2005, p. 288.
- Searight 1999, p. 404.
- "Koutoubia Mosque, Marrakesh". Sacred Destinations. Retrieved 5 October 2012.
- Searight 1999, p. 399.
- Rogerson 2000, pp. 100.
- Rogerson 2000, pp. 100-102.
- Jacobs 2010.
- Rogerseon 2000, p. 106.
- La mosquée Al Mouassine", Ciyzeum. (French) Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Christiani 2010, p. 53.
- Hardy, Vorhees & Edsall 2005, p. 285.
- "The Patron Saints of Marrakech". Dar Sirr. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- Gottreich & 2003 287.
- Larson, Hilary (May 8, 2012). "The Marrakesh Express". The Jewish Week. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- "Marrakech". International Jewish Cemetery Project. February 16, 2010. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
- Denby 2004, p. 194.
- Layton 2004, p. 104.
- Sullivan 2006, p. 45.
- Venison 2005, p. 214.
- Davies 2009, p. 103.
- Hudson, Christopher (20 March 2012). "Accor opens first Pullman hotel in Marrakech". Hotelier Middle East via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Mayhew & Dodd 2003, p. 341.
- Hardy, Vorhees & Edsall 2005, p. 286.
- Suliivan 2007, p. 144.
- "Musée de Marrakech: Fondation Omar Benjelloun". (French). Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Suliivan 2007, p. 143.
- "Museum Of Islamic Art", Hg2 Marrakech. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Bing 2011, p. 154-6.
- Christiani 2010, p. 134.
- Hudson, Christopher (26 December 1998). "The Magic Marrakech". Daily Mail via HighBeam Research (subscription required). Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Bing 2011, p. 154-56.
- Aldosar, p. 1245.
- Bing 2011, p. 25.
- Humphrys 2010.
- Arino, Hbid & Dads 2006, p. 21.
- Casas, Solh & Dads 2006, p. 74.
- "The University". Cadi Ayyad University. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Lehmann, Henss & Szerelmy 2012, p. 299.
- Cheurfi 2007, p. 740.
- Michelin 2001, p. 363.
- Christiani 2010, p. 161.
- Clammer 209, p. 308.
- Suliivan 2007, p. 175.
- Group, Oxford Business (18 October 2012). The Report: Emerging Morocco. Oxford Business Group. pp. 104–107. ISBN 9781902339764.
- "Marrakech". Office National Des Aéroports. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "MenARA Airport General Information". World Aero Data.com. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Investment program 2011". Office National Des Aéroports. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "Presentation RAK". Office National Des Aéroports.
- Laet 1994, p. 344.
- "Morocco expands hospital services with US$8 million OPEC Fund loan". The OPEC Fund for International Development. 9 February 2001. Retrieved 19 October 2012.
- "Marrakech attack, terrorist act resulting from strong explosion caused by an explosive device". Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP) via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 28 April 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "H.M. the king inaugurates regional psychiatry hospital in Marrakech.". Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP) via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 7 September 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- "HM the King launches relocation operation of military installations in Marrakech.". Agence Maghreb Arabe Presse (MAP) via HighBeam Research (subscription required). 25 September 2011. Retrieved 18 October 2012.
- Arino, O.; Hbid, M.L.; Dads, E. Ait (22 September 2006). Delay Differential Equations and Applications: Proceedings of the NATO Advanced Study Institute held in Marrakech, Morocco, 9-21 September 2002. Springer. p. 21. ISBN 978-1-4020-3645-3.
- Aldosar, Ali. Middle East, western Asia, and northern Africa. Marshall Cavendish. ISBN 9780761475712.
- Barrows, David Prescott (31 May 2004). Berbers And Blacks: Impressions Of Morocco, Timbuktu And The Western Sudan. Kessinger Publishing. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-4179-1742-6.
- Bing, Alison (1 October 2011). Marrakesh Encounter. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74179-316-1.
- Bloom, Jonathan; Blair, Sheila (23 March 2009). The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art & Architecture: Three-volume set. Oxford University Press. p. 466. ISBN 978-0-19-530991-1.
- Bosworth, Clifford Edmund (1 January 1989). Encyclopaedia of Islam , Fascicle 107. Brill Archive. ISBN 978-90-04-09082-8.
- Casas, Joseph; Solh, Mahmoud; Hafez, Hala (1999). The National Agricultural Research Systems in West Asia and North Africa Region. ICARDA. ISBN 978-92-9127-096-5.
- Cheurfi, Achour (2007). L'encyclopédie maghrébine. Casbah éditions. ISBN 978-9961-64-641-0.
- Christiani, Kerry (15 March 2010). Frommer's Marrakech Day by Day. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-71711-0.
- Clammer, Paul (1 February 2009). Morocco. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74104-971-8.
- Cornell, Vincent J. (1998). Realm of the Saint: Power and Authority in Moroccan Sufism. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-71210-2.
- Dahlhoff, Guenther (3 August 2012). International Court of Justice, Digest of Judgments and Advisory Opinions, Canon and Case Law 1946 - 2012: (2-Volume set). Martinus Nijhoff Publishers. ISBN 978-90-04-23062-0.
- Davies, Ethel (15 September 2009). North Africa: The Roman Coast. Bradt Travel Guides. ISBN 978-1-84162-287-3.
- Delbeke, M.; Schraven, M. (9 December 2011). Foundation, Dedication and Consecration in Early Modern Europe. BRILL. p. 185. ISBN 978-90-04-21757-7.
- Denby, Elaine (2 April 2004). Grand Hotels: Reality and Illusion. Reaktion Books. ISBN 978-1-86189-121-1.
- Egginton, Jane; Pitz, Anne (2010). NG Spirallo Marrakech (in German). Mair Dumont Spirallo. ISBN 978-3-8297-3274-1.
- Febvre, Lucien Paul Victor (July 1988). Annales. A. Colin.
- Fodor's (2007). Baedeker Morocco. Random House Digital, Inc. ISBN 9781400017263.
- Gerteiny, Alfred G. (1967). Mauritania. Praeger.
- Gottreich, Emily (2007). The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish And Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21863-6.
- Gottreich, Emily (May, 2003). "On the Origins of the Mellah of Marrakesh". International Journal of Middle East Studies (Cambridge University Press) 35 (2): 287–305.
- Hamilton, Richard (15 June 2011). The Last Storytellers: Tales from the Heart of Morocco. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1-84885-491-8.
- Hardy, Paula; Vorhees, Mara; Edsall, Heidi (1 February 2005). Morocco. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74059-678-7. Retrieved 9 October.
- Harrison, Rodney (10 September 2012). Heritage: Critical Approaches. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-26766-6.
- Hoisington (20 December 2004). The Assassination of Jacques Lemaigre Dubreuil: A Frenchman between France and North Africa. Psychology Press. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-415-35032-7.
- Howe, Marvine (30 June 2005). Morocco: The Islamist Awakening and Other Challenges. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-516963-8.
- Humphrys, Darren (22 March 2010). Frommer's Morocco. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-56022-8.
- Laet, Sigfried J. de (1994). History of Humanity: From the seventh to the sixteenth century. UNESCO. ISBN 978-92-3-102813-7.
- Layton, Monique (22 November 2011). Notes from Elsewhere: Travel and Other Matters. iUniverse. ISBN 978-1-4620-3649-3.
- Lehmann, Ingeborg; Henss, Rita; Szerelmy, Beate (14 February 2012). Baedeker Morocco. Baedeker. ISBN 978-3-8297-6623-4.
- Listri, Massimo; Rey, Daniel (30 January 2006). Marrakech: Living on the Edge of the Desert. Images Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86470-152-4.
- Loizillon, Sophie (1 January 2008). Maroc (in French). Editions Marcus. ISBN 978-2-7131-0271-4.
- Mayhew, Bradley; Dodd, Jan (1 February 2003). Morocco. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74059-361-8.
- Morocco. Michelin Travel Publications. 2001.
- Nanjira, Daniel Don (21 October 2010). African Foreign Policy and Diplomacy From Antiquity to the 21st Century. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 978-0-313-37982-6.
- Naylor, Phillip C. (1 July 2009). North Africa: A History from Antiquity to the Present. University of Texas Press. ISBN 978-0-292-71922-4.
- Pons, Pau Obrador; Crang, Mike; Travlou, Penny (21 September 2009). Cultures of Mass Tourism: Doing the Mediterranean in the Age of Banal Mobilities. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7546-7213-5.
- Rogerson, Barnaby; Lavington, Stephen (31 March 2004). Marrakech: The Red City. Sickle Moon. ISBN 978-1-900209-18-2.
- Rogerson, Barnaby (1 October 2000). Marrakesh, Fez, Rabat. New Holland Publishers. ISBN 978-1-86011-973-6.
- Searight, Susan (1 November 1999). Maverick Guide to Morocco. Pelican Publishing. ISBN 978-1-56554-348-5.
- Shackley, Myra (23 May 2012). Atlas of Travel and Tourism Development. Routledge. ISBN 978-1-136-42782-4.
- Shillington, Kevin (2005). Encyclopedia of African history. Fitzroy Dearborn.
- Sullivan, Paul (12 January 2006). A Hedonist's Guide to Marrakech. A Hedonist's guide to... ISBN 978-1-905428-06-9.
- Sullivan, Paul (2007). Hedonist's Guide To Marrakech. Images Publishing. pp. 143–147, 175. ISBN 9781905428069. Retrieved 17 October 2012.
- Venison, Peter J. (30 September 2005). In the Shadow of the Sun: Travels And Adventures in the World of Hotels. iUniverse. ISBN 978-0-595-35458-0.
Further reading 
- Auzias, Dominique; Labourdette, Jean-Paul (2 February 2011). Marrakech 2011 - 2012 (in French). Collectif, Petit Futé. ISBN 978-2-7469-3014-8. Retrieved 8 October 2012.
- Bing, Alison (2 February 2006). Best of Marrakesh. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74059-594-0.
- Bing, Alison (1 October 2011). Marrakesh Encounter. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74179-316-1.
- Brown, Hamish M. (31 May 2007). The Mountains Look on Marrakech. Whittles. ISBN 978-1-870325-29-5.
- Canetti, Elias (26 January 2012). The Voices of Marrakesh: A Record of a Visit. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 978-0-14-119562-9.
- Charvet, Marie (March 2003). Marrakesh. Everyman. ISBN 978-1-84159-073-8.
- Christiani, Kerry (15 March 2010). Frommer's Marrakech Day by Day. John Wiley & Sons. ISBN 978-0-470-71711-0.
- Editors of Time Out (28 February 2008). Time Out Shortlist Marrakech. Time Out. ISBN 978-1-84670-076-7.
- Egginton, Jane; Pitz, Anne (2010). NG Spirallo Marrakech (in German). Mair Dumont Spirallo. ISBN 978-3-8297-3274-1.
- Fernea, Elizabeth Warnock (November 1988). A Street in Marrakech: A Personal View of Urban Women in Morocco. Waveland Press. ISBN 978-0-88133-404-3.
- Gottreich, Emily (2007). The Mellah of Marrakesh: Jewish And Muslim Space in Morocco's Red City. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-21863-6.
- Gould, Stephen Jay (1 October 2011). The Lying Stones of Marrakech: Penultimate Reflections in Natural History. Harvard University Press. ISBN 978-0-674-06167-5.
- Humphreys, Andrew (1 May 2008). Marrakech. Dorling Kindersley. ISBN 978-1-4053-2827-2.
- Humphreys, Andrew (22 March 2010). DK Eyewitness Top 10 Travel Guide: Marrakech: Marrakech. Dorling Kindersley Limited. ISBN 978-1-4053-6690-8.
- Jacobs, Daniel (13 September 2004). Marrakesh Directions. Rough Guides. ISBN 978-1-84353-321-4.
- Listri, Massimo; Rey, Daniel (30 January 2006). Marrakech: Living on the Edge of the Desert. Images Publishing. ISBN 978-1-86470-152-4.
- McGuinness, Justin (1 March 2002). Footprint Marrakech & the High Atlas Handbook: The Travel Guide. Footprint Handbooks. ISBN 978-1-903471-12-8.
- McGuinness, Justin (1 June 2004). Marrakech. Footprint Handbooks. ISBN 978-1-903471-81-4.
- Mourad, Khireddine (1994). Marrakech Et La Mamounia (in French). www.acr-edition.com. ISBN 978-2-86770-081-1.
- Nichols, Fiona (23 October 2009). Marrakech Travel Pack. Globetrotter. ISBN 978-1-84773-472-3.
- Rogerson, Barnaby; Lavington, Stephen (31 March 2004). Marrakech: The Red City. Sickle Moon. ISBN 978-1-900209-18-2.
- Sullivan, Paul (12 January 2006). A Hedonist's Guide to Marrakech. A Hedonist's guide to... ISBN 978-1-905428-06-9. Text "pages 143-147, 175" ignored (help)
- Sweeney, Sarah (15 December 2009). Marrakesh. Insight Guides. ISBN 978-981-282-122-5.
- Wilbaux, Quentin; Lebrun, Michel; McElhearn, Kirk (20 May 2009). Marrakesh: The Secret of Courtyard Houses. www.acr-edition.com. ISBN 978-2-86770-130-6.
- Wilde, Tatiana (1 April 2012). Select Marrakech. APA Publications UK, Limited. ISBN 978-1-78005-285-4.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Marrakech|