Marrakech or Marrakesh is a major city in the northwest African country of Morocco. Marrakech is derived from the Amazigh – Berber words mur (n) akush meaning `Land of God’, and is the third largest city in Morocco after Casablanca and Rabat.
It is located near the foothills of the snow-capped Atlas Mountains and by road is placed around 580 km southwest of Tangier, 327 km southwest of the Moroccan capital of Rabat, 239 km southwest of Casablanca and 246 km northeast of Agadir.
It is also a few hours on foot of the Sahara Desert and is an awesome destination in Morocco mingled with its location and contrasting landscape. This city is divided into two sections namely the Medina which is the historical city and the new European modern district known as Gueliz or Ville Nouvelle.
While the Medina is full of intertwining narrow passageways with local shops, Gueliz has modern restaurants, fast food chains together with huge brand outlets.
Major Economic Centre/Tourist Destination
Marrakesh is one of the busiest cities in Africa which is a major economic centre as well as a tourist destination which was advocated by the Moroccan reigning monarch Mohammed VI with the intention of increasing the number of tourist in their country to twenty million by 2020.
The real estate and hotel development in this city has improved to a great extent in the 21st century in spite of the economic recession. It has the largest traditional markets (souk) of Berberin Morocco with some 18 souks selling wares which ranges from traditional Berber carpets to modern consumer electronics.
Marrakesh is very popular with the French and one will find a large number of French celebrities owning property here.
This city is served by the Marrakesh railway station and Menara International Airport connecting thecity to Casablanca and northern Morocco with several universities and school which includes Cadi Ayyad University. Besides this, one will also find a number of Moroccan football clubs here which include Najm de Marrakech, KAC Marrakech, Chez Ali Club de Marrakech and Mouloudia de Marrakech.
The Marrakesh Street Circuit hosts the World Touring Car Championship, FIA Formula Two Championship races and Auto GP World Series. There is much to explore in Marrakech and a whole day can be dedicated in visiting interesting places in and around Marrakech which offers many historical and architectural sites together with some interesting museums.
Interesting Sites to Explore
Palmeraie, the green lung of Marrakech is a real oasis on the edge of the city and is a perfect setting to take a few hours of camel ride and enjoy the surrounding of peace. The square of Djemaa El-Fna, the highlight of Marrakech night has musicians, dancers and story tellers crowding the square, filled with drum beats and plenty of noise. Many stalls are lined up selling a variety of Moroccan fare.
The Souks or markets are adjacent to Place Djemaa El-Fna, where most of the things can be purchased. The Majorelle Gardens in Gueliz is more expensive than other interesting sites and is somewhat priced too high for a modest size attraction of half an hour though it provides an excellent viewing from the everyday life. Marrakech is an amazing destination with many more sites to explore which are worth visiting.