Rabat Soon to Be the Cultural Capital of Morocco

The Wessal Bouregreg project plans to make Rabat one of the most cultural and beautiful cities of the Mediterranean

July 08th, 2016
Gaspard Fontaine, CD News

Morocco has set itself the goal of becoming one of the world’s top 20 tourist destinations by 2020. In order to achieve this objective, the Kingdom knows that it needs to create new infrastructure to welcome tourists, but it also needs to create new reasons for tourists to visit the country. The Wessel Bouregreg project was created to respond to this desire and will aim to solidify Rabat’s place as the cultural capital of Morocco.

“We discovered that a tourism policy was not limited to the number of hotel rooms built but that we also have to create destinations”, said Tarik Senhaji, Director General of the Moroccan Fund for Tourism Development (FMDT). This is how the biggest cultural project, Wessal Bouregreg, was born.

The project is monumental. By 2020, a theatre, an archaeology and natural science museum, an archive museum (a gigantic 15,000m2 library), and a house of culture will be built on the shores of the Bouregreg River. Once achieved, the project will make Rabat – already one of the most creative cities of the Kingdom – the cultural capital of Morocco.

To foster and finance its vision, Morocco created the Moroccan Fund for Tourism Development in 2010. It associates public and private sources of finance in order to develop Morocco’s tourism industry. The FMDT created the Wessal Capital by associating itself with the sovereign fund of the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait. Wessal Capital is now in charge of the Wessal Bouregreg project.

Other projects aimed at making Rabat a cultural hub in Morocco have already taken shape. In 2014 the Mohammed-VI museum of modern and contemporary art, the first museum in the country to be dedicated to those arts, was inaugurated. The city also boasts the Mohammed-V theatre and the Villa of Arts.

With these cultural projects, Rabat should soon become an unavoidable touristic destination in Morocco. It should allow the country to fulfil its ambitions and attract more and more tourists from across the world.


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