Invest in Fes-Boulemane, Morocco: New Investment Plan & Regional Tourism in Morocco

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Fes-Boulemane Region in Morocco: New Investment Plan & Regional Tourism in Morocco
In this regard, it is worth noting that one of Fes’ hotels, the Riad Le Calife, has recently been voted into the “Top Ten Best Hotels in the World” by the hotel review site TripAdvisor.

invest in fes

Investments in Fes-Boulemane Region, Morocco

>Morocco National Plan for the Development of Tourism
>Services of the Fes-Boulemane Regional Centre for Investment
>Investment Advantages of Fes-Boulemane Region
>Tourism in Fes-Boulemane Region

In no part of North Africa are investors made to feel more welcome and well attended to than in the ancient city of Fes, which is today both a modern city of over a million people, as well as the largest and best preserved medieval city in the world. As such, Moroccans consider it the “Jewel of Morocco,” and its most important historical, cultural, educational, growth-directed touristic center.

According to Youssef Rabouli, Director of the RIC (Regional Investment Center—also abbreviated IRC and CRI depending on French or Arab language) of Fes-Boulemane, “Fes Boulemane was the first region to benefit from the plan for regional development of tourism that was signed off in 2005.Spices in Fes

Morocco National Plan for the Development of Tourism

The National Plan for the Development of Tourism was in turn the result of the vision of King Mohammed VI, called “Vision 2010,”announced in 2001, to harness all aspects of the nation’s government and economy toward the growth of tourism as a major source of income for the nation. Between 2001 and 2005, all resources of the country—from airports and railroads, to hotel beds;

from tourist agencies to international tourist marketing; from tour companies to restaurant openings, from riads to major resorts and hotel chains; and from local to foreign investment sources–were to be surveyed and a plan or coordination adopted. By 2003, major elements of the plan were being implemented, though the big push came in 2005.

Key to the 2005 plan adopted as a result of this survey was a new organization of district, city, and region government to provide services to every level of investor.

Services of the Fes-Boulemane Regional Centre for Investment

The RIC is designed to assist with the registration of a company in Morocco, aiming to cut the time of doing this to 48 hours, and to provide knowledgeable representatives from all the different departments of government at every level—from national to regional to district to local—to meet all requirements as well as investor needs with quick and efficient expertise.

The Fes-Boulemane IRC is conceived as a ‘one-stop-shop’, which can take care of all the administrative paperwork in a new and vastly streamlined service.

Mr. Rabouli, Director of the Fes-Boulemane RIC says: Investment Fes Tourism

“its a very unique scheme. We try to gain the most information about the investment, about the potential of the region for the investors, about all the required administrative documents. The center has representatives of all the services concerned by the investment. These are services that work together at the IRC level to facilitate the investor’s job….We put in the hands of the investor every help the government has to offer.

This help extends not only to meeting government requirements, but to arranging meetings or introductions for each investor’s special needs. At the Fes Boulemane RIC, Rabouli says, “we have for every investment plan what we call a regional committee,” which has available to it the head of the Region (the Wali), all other elected governmental officials, such as the mayors or council members, and all the regional private actors—such as professional planners, architects or engineers, suppliers, tourist operators, and the public.

The goal is to make every special expertise available when needed to solve the investor’s problems so that the investment will run smoothly and successfully.

Advantages for companies to invest in Fes-Boulemane region

This duty is enthusiastically taken up by the regional governor, or Wali, Mohammed Gharrabi, who insists: “Someone needs to create synergy between local councilors, and coordinate their efforts. I need to be able to intervene whenever the situation requires it. If the need is to negotiate with a certain actor arises, for example. The role of the wali is to lead and coordinate all the actors’ work for the best efficiency. No project can be successful without prior consultation of local actors.

As a result, says Gharrabi: “Since 2003, more than 9,500 businesses and “more than 10,000 jobs were created in Fes thanks to RCI’s support.”

Fes has certain advantages for attracting investment, according to Gharrabi: “Fes is unique for its quality of life, its educational institutions in the area and knowledge base, its qualified workforce, its closeness to Morocco’s main cities, its ease of access thanks to its airport.”

According to (président du conseil Régional du Tourisme) much has been done to make the City of Fes one of the top international tourist destinations.Fes Artisanat

“Work has been done to bring the city of Fes—both the ancient medina and the new town—up to scratch. Guided tours across the city have been set up; ancient monuments have been restored. The historic dimension of the city has been exploited…the ancient walls and ramparts rebuilt, etc. In the new town, we use water for decorative purposes [e.g., fountains]. The big avenues are decorated with flowers, plays of light and water, which make them very pleasant to wander in. The Spirit of Fes Foundation is in charge of 12 events, one of the most important being the Festival of Sacred Music. There is also the Festival of Culinary Arts, the Jazz Festival, etc. Riads, restaurants, and piano bars have been created to make the city more lively. In terms of human resources, professionals’ skills in the field of tourism have been improved thanks to various training programs. And, of course, promotion and advertising have been carried out.”

In this regard, it is worth noting that one of Fes’ hotels, the Riad Le Calife, has recently been voted into the “Top Ten Best Hotels in the World” by the hotel review site TripAdvisor.

In this regard, it is worth noting that one of Fes’ hotels, the Riad Le Calife, has recently been voted into the “Top Ten Best Hotels in the World” by the hotel review site TripAdvisor.

According to Gharrabi, Fes has already attracted a significant European community of investors and residents:

“… we have a lot of Europeans living in Fes for work or diplomatic ties and they enjoy living here thanks to Fes’ quality of life. Secondly, Fes attracts a lot of Europeans for its cultural heritage. They make up the majority of our tourists. We also benefit from the presence of European investors, for example, Webhelp, which invested in Fes and created about 1,000 jobs.”

Tourism in Fes-Boulemane Region

Developing tourism is Fes-Boulemane’s principal function, but not its only one. According to Gharrabi, “The Royal Development program is based on each region’s specific resources.” The resources of Fes-Boulemane include “economic knowledge, education and culture…and large craft industries, as well as specialized agro-industry.”

Thus, investment in the region “touches all sectors of economic activity” including agriculture, industry, construction, infrastructure, and real estate. For example, says Rabouli, the DOHA Group came to this region with a big real estate project in the center of the city for a spa.

In addition, Fes-Boulemane has many projects in crafts:

Fes is a national center for crafts, a growing sector thanks to tourism, with about 2,500 craftsmen. Fes is an important industrial hub, specialized in agro-industry, leather, and textile industry. [This] activity takes part in global growth.

Wali Gharrabi points out that the regional plan also calls for the a new off-shoring (out-sourcing) sector. “The [national] government is working with us on setting up a 22-hectare off-shoring region in the region of Fes,” as well as to the “creation of new industrial zones.Fes Golden Gate

Education is also a growth industry in Fes-Bopuleme. According to Adelhamid Chabat, Mayor of Fes, “We want to attract a maximum of good schools and training centers for our young population to be able to respond to opportunities created by investors. There are more than 60,000 students in Fes. Fes experiences a high demand from Subsaharan African students, partly because of the prestige of a great African figure who lived in Fes, Ahmad al-Tijani.

Fes-Boulemane also has the “big projects” to attract investors. “One of our biggest projects is the Green City and its golf course that will soon open,” says Major Chabat.

There is also the Botanical Garden, the garden of birds (aviary), as well as a tennis academy. These are all part of Oued Fes Project…which aims at creating a nice, eco-friendly environment….A private project is under way right in the middle of the city—the Fes City Center—an 8-hectare park, high rise housing, a congress palace, a hotel, and a new city council headquarters.

Overall, there is something for every investor in Fes-Boulemane—from a retired couple buying a small riad to make over as a bed-and-breakfast, to a young waiter who has long dreamed of starting his own restaurant, to a successful business executive who dreams of starting a management school, to the international company looking to develop an outsourcing complex.

Fes-Boulemane is city on the move, a region of growth, and a great magnet for new enterprises.

Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdellah University (SMBAU)

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