Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large
A view of Casablanca from Kenzi Tower Hotel. Zacarias Garcia for The National
A view of Casablanca from Kenzi Tower Hotel. Zacarias Garcia for The National

It's well worth playing it again, Sam, in Morocco

The Life: Investment makes it an interesting time to be a business traveller in Morocco.

Morocco's history as a trading nation is evident in its bustling and historic medinas that are often designated as world heritage sites.

And although these are still centres of business and trade, the real investment is now being seen in huge infrastructure and development projects funded by a combination of government, private and foreign investment.

This expansion makes it an interesting time to be a business traveller in Morocco and more specifically Casablanca, the economic heart of the North African country.

While the misquoted Humphrey Bogart line from the film of the same name is synonymous with the city, opportunities for investment and business are now almost as well known as the country's markets or tasty tagines, its traditional dish.

As with Dubai, Casablanca is investing to become a city that blurs the boundaries between both business and pleasure. It is developing a number of cities of expertise, such as the 100-hectare Finance City, which is planned to be an offshore centre similar to the Dubai International Finance Centre. The Moroccan financial board hopes the development will create about 15,000 jobs by the end of the decade, with a further 25,000 added by auxiliary businesses linked to the city. Casablanca will also build a "city" dedicated to the aerospace and automotive industries, one for technology and another for health and wellbeing.

Admittedly, it is still very poor, with beggars on every street corner, and it does not quite hold the touristic charm of peers such as Marrakech, but doing business in Morocco is getting easier, according to the World Bank, which ranked it 94 out of 183 economies last year in a list of ease of getting business done. That was 21 places higher than 2010.

Moreover, Casablanca is investing heavily, building a 34km tram network around the city, as well as a huge leisure marina development at a cost of 5 billion Moroccan dirhams (Dh2.08bn).

Perhaps once dismissed by many, there are now good reasons to look again at this bustling metropolis.


Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 The Greens, villas: Q1 no change. 3BR - Dh210-250,000. 4BR - Dh210-260,000. 5BR - Dh220-300,000. Q1 2013-Q1 2014 5% rise. Pawan Singh / The National

In pictures: Where Dubai rents have risen and fallen, Q1 2014

Find out how rental prices in the prime locations in Dubai have altered during the first three months of the year and the current rates you will pay according to data provided by Asteco.

 Above, the private pool of Ocean Heights' five-bedroom penthouse flat. Courtesy Christie’s International Real Estate

In pictures: Penthouse flat is height of Dubai luxury living

A five-bedroom penthouse in Ocean Heights in Dubai Marina is on sale for Dh25 million and comes with a private pool and an unparalleled view of Dubai.

 The cooling towers of the Temelin nuclear power plant near the Tyn nad Vltavou in Czech Republic. The country wants to continue expanding nuclear energy capacity despite cancelling a tender to build two new units. David W Cerny / Reuters

In pictures: Best business images for the week to April 17, 2014

Here are some of the best business images for the week to April 17, 2014.

 Three generations of the Hakimi family tend to their stall Crawford Market in Mumbai. Subhash Sharma for The National

In pictures: Shopper’s delight at Crawford Market in Mumbai

Crawford Market is an old British-style covered market dealing in just about every kind of fresh food and domestic animal imaginable. Later on renamed Mahatma Jotirao Phule, the market remains popular among locals and visitors by its old name, taken from Arthur Crawford who was the first municipal commissioner of the city.

 The Wind, Energy, Technology and Environment Exhibition takes place from April 14 to April 16. Above, the Dewa showroom during last year’s Wetex. Jaime Puebla / The National

April corporate and economic calendar for the UAE and overseas

From Cityscape to Wetex to stock-market holidays to nations reporting first-quarter GDP figures, here is our helpful calendar of April's business events in the UAE and internationally.

 Get the latest information on credit cards, bank accounts and loan products in the UAE. Mark Lennihan / AP Photo

Rates report: Latest on UAE loans, accounts and credit cards

Souqamal.com brings you the latest interest rates on banking products in the UAE.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National