Monday, February 19, 2018

The Couscous Rocket - Samir Azzimani's Olympic Result

Samir Azzimani, the "couscous rocket", realised his dream while fulfilling his sporting goals. At the Alpensia resort he crossed the finish line of the 15 km cross-country skiing in a modest 111th place, more than 13 minutes behind the winner

Samir managed to complete a race in this most demanding sporting discipline at the age of forty and was then involved in what has been a defining image of this year's Winter Olympics.

Mexico’s German Madrazo was heroically skiing in last place to the line, proudly brandishing the flag of his country and smiling jubilantly. After crossing the finish after 15 kilometres of gruelling freestyle cross-country racing on Friday, he was lifted high into the air and onto the shoulders of Tonga’s Pita Taufatofua, who finished 114th, and Samir Azzimani, for whom just getting to the end was an achievement in itself.

The 43-year-old Madrazo came 116th out of the 116 who made it home, fully 25 minutes 51.5 seconds behind the winner Dario Cologna of Switzerland.

Tonga's Pita Taufatofua (L) and Samir Azzimani (R) lift Mexico's Madrazo onto their shoulders at the finish line

Azzimani made history by becoming the Arab world’s first dual-sport Olympian after competing in the alpine skiing event at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. In addition to his desire not to finish last, in reality, his main goal was to represent Morocco at the Winter Olympics for the second time in his career, after those of Vancouver, in 2010, in which he finished 44th in slalom and 74th in giant slalom.

At the end of last November, he was forced, with a pair of skis on wheels, to cross Morocco from north to south in five weeks. At the price of unimaginable suffering, those 1700 km forged attitude to long races.


Friday, February 16, 2018

New Ryanair Flights To Fez

The low-cost airline Ryanair has announced that it will soon launch two new lines linking Valencia to Fez and Tangiers and two other new routes between Seville, Rabat and Tangier

These new lines will each have a frequency of two flights per week and are part of 29 new lines scheduled in the 2018 winter calendar of the company, which will link several Spanish airports to various destinations in Europe and Morocco, said the company on its website.

The winter timetable of the Irish carrier will also provide for the increase of flight frequencies on 35 existing lines, with the aim of carrying 41.5 million passengers a year via 26 Spanish airports, which would represent a 9% increase in operations from Ryanair in Spain.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Tangier Tourism Growth Up 27%

Classified tourist establishments in Tangier registered 608,654 arrivals in 2017 against 478,170 a year earlier, an increase of 27%

Thus, the number of international visitors who went to Tangier stood at 312,074 tourists during the year 2017 (+ 49% ), while national tourists totalled 296,580, up 10% over to 2016, with an average stay of two days.

The various classified hotel units of Tangier recorded, during this period, 1,237,391 nights compared to 991,489 in 2016, an increase of 25%, with an occupancy rate of 45% against 40%, year-on-year.

The Spaniards come first among the foreign tourists who visited the city of Tangier during this period (56,744), followed by the French (46,296), Arabs (25,246), Americans (15,026), Chinese (12,379), British ( 9.160), Germans (7.512), Belgians (6.199) and Scandinavians (5.302).

Tourist establishments classified 4 stars have welcomed some 179,100 tourists, followed by those classified as 3 stars (162,026), 5 stars (110,023), 2 stars (80,693) and a star (43,642), as well as residential hotels. (20,454) and guest houses (9,846).

In December alone, 43,567 tourists visited Tangier against 41,156 in December 2016, up 6% with the number of overnight stays was 82,212, up 3% year-on-year, with an occupancy rate of 39% versus 34% in December 2016.


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

National Film Festival in Tangier

Initiated by the Moroccan Film Centre (CCM), the National Film Festival (FNF) will be held from March 9 to 17 in Tangier for its 19th edition

The FNF is an artistic, cultural and promotional event with the objective of promoting the development of national film production and to contribute to the dissemination of Moroccan film and create a space for meetings, dialogue and film exchange.

The program of this edition, which coincides with the sixtieth Anniversary of Moroccan cinema, includes a competition for short and long films produced since the last edition, debates around these films, a presentation of the cinematographic report for 2017, professional meetings and parallel activities.


Morocco's Olympic Team at Opening Ceremony

The Olympic opening ceremony saw the lifting of the Moroccan flag with the sounds of the national anthem, in the presence of the Moroccan ambassador to South Korea, Chafik Rachadi, Nawal El Moutawakil, member of the International Olympic Committee and Majd Chaqroun, president of the Moroccan delegation.

The mayor of the village Olympic, Ryu Seung-min welcomed the Moroccan delegation. The the Moroccan team is composed of the athletes Adam Lamhamedi (alpine skiing) and Samir Azzimani (cross-country skiing), and coaches Noureddine Bouchaal and Denis Boissière and technician Sami Latif. They are accompanied by the vice-president of the Moroccan National Olympic Committee, Kamal Lahlou, the director of sports at the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Mustapha Azeroual, and the director of the Moroccan National Olympic Committee, Amine Kouam.


Saturday, February 10, 2018

Fez Tops 2017 Tourist Growth Figures

The tourism sector in Morocco recorded a positive balance sheet for 2017. The sector recorded strong growth in the number of non-resident tourist arrivals, overnight stays in classified tourist accommodation establishments (EHTC) and foreign exchange earnings, says a statement from the Ministry of Tourism, Air Transport, Crafts and Social Economy

The department notes that the number of tourist arrivals at border crossings was 11.35 million, an increase of 10% over 2016. "This increase affects almost the major markets of the Kingdom, as Germany (+ 15%), Holland and Italy (+ 9%), France and Spain (+ 8%), as well as the United States, which experienced a significant increase of + 29% » , adds the same source.

Emerging markets for Morocco, are experiencing the same trend, with an increase in the number of tourists from China (+ 151%), Japan (+ 39%), or Brazil (+ 38%).

As for the volume of nights spent in the EHTC, ​​it has evolved by 15% in 2017. A performance that is due to the increase of 18% of overnight stays of non-resident tourists, as well as those of resident tourists by 7%. In addition, the strongest growth in destinations was recorded in Fez (+ 39%), Ouarzazate (+ 37%), Tangier (+ 25%), Marrakech (+ 17%), Agadir and Casablanca (+ 11%). ).

The Minister of Tourism said that tourism earnings in foreign currencies reached 69.7 billion dirhams in 2017 against 64.2 billion dirhams in 2016, an increase of 8.5%.


Friday, February 09, 2018

Morocco - New internal flights start on Sunday

Air connections from Casablanca to Errachidia (5 weekly flights), Zagora (3 flights per week) and Ouarzazate (1 flight per day) at a price of 400 DH one way will be effective from Sunday 11 February.


Wednesday, February 07, 2018

15th International Nomad Festival

The association "Nomads of the World" launches the 15th edition of the International Festival of Nomads in M'hamid El Ghizlane, in the province of Zagora.  It runs from the 22nd to the 24th of March

The cultural event gives the local and international public access to ancestral arts and traditions. On the program are three days of music, debates, traditional sports and gastronomy.

Artists from Hungary, Niger, Mauritania, Mali, Algeria, France and Morocco will take part in the festival. Ffteen open-air concerts will liven up the nights in the centre of M'hamid.

"Music programming is developed to provide a balance between internationally renowned artists and those in the making. The aim is to reach a diverse audience, to create links and to reinforce the fraternal dimension of the event ", explains the director of the event, Noureddine Bougrab.

The days will feature the traditional activities of the Saharan nomads. Cross-country sand hockey players known locally as "mok'hach", the competitors of the camel race called "ellaz". There will also be a sand loaf competition, "la mella" and a demonstration of nomadic tents.

Another tradition, that of the palaver, will be highlighted during the debates, presentations and workshops in the forum of Nomads. The themes will focus on the heritage and history of this Drâa-Tafilalet region. "This ancient cultural crossroads was a crucial step in trans-Saharan trade. But how to think about solutions for the future of nomadism in a Sahara that has seen its nomadic population shrink by 70% in the last decade? National and international specialists will deliver their visions, "emphasizes Noureddine Bougrab.

The festival-goers will also be able to discover the Monday Souk with its colours and scents.

 According to the director of the event, "the festival is a unifying event that, on the one hand, highlights the heritage of nomads and radiates the Hassani culture and on the other hand, supports the local economy by contributing to the attractiveness of M'hamid El Ghizlane in the Drâa-Tafilalet region and encouraging spectators of all origins to visit the area ".

Noureddine Bougrab, teacher of classical Arabic in M'hamid school, insists on the involvement of young people for the smooth running of the festival which welcomed 20,000 people and 300 stakeholders in 2017. "We expect even more this year" he says. This event is the result of a close collaboration between the association "Nomads of the World" and national and regional partners.

A look back at the 2017 edition


Winter in Morocco - -5 degrees and lots of snow!

The weather - Cold weather on the reliefs, the Southeast, the highlands, the north and the interior of the country.

Snowfall low to moderate on the reliefs and highlands above 1.200m.

Moderate to locally significant rainfall or thunderstorms in central and northern southern provinces, especially in the areas between Safi and Laayoune during the evening and night.

Scattered showers or showers over the North, the Mediterranean, the East and the South-East Slopes. Little to slightly cloudy sky elsewhere. Low to moderate winds from South to West in general over the Kingdom with gusts of strong wind over the northern provinces of the South with sand storms in places.

Minimum temperatures of about -10 ° C to -05 ° C on the reliefs of the Atlas, from -05 to 00 ° C on the South of the Oriental and northeastern slopes, from 01 to 06 ° C on the Saiss, the north of the Oriental, the plateaus of phosphates and Oulmes, Gharb, Loukkos and on the coasts and plains north and central and from 06 to 12 ° C on the Souss and the provinces of the South.- Maximum temperatures of the order of -02 to 04 ° C on the reliefs and the oriental trays, of 05 with 10 ° C on the Saiss, the plateaus of phosphates and Oulmes, Gharb, Chaouia, Rehamna, Haouz and Chiadma, from 11 to 16 ° C near the coast and on the south-eastern slopes, Doukkala, Abda, Souss and the northern provinces of South and from 16 to 21 ° C on the extreme south of the country