Located in North Africa, Morocco is a nation neighboring the Mediterranean Sea and across it Spain to its north, and the Western Sahara to its south and west. It has a long history that dates back to the Paleolithic times. At present, Morocco has a large number of cities such as Rabat, Casablanca, Fez, Tangier and many more. Of all these cities, the Atlantic port of Casablanca is the largest one in the country. It is one of the most important cities in Africa while Rabat is the capital of Morocco. Let us have a look at various aspects of the major Moroccan cities.
Historical, Economic, and Cultural Significance of Major Moroccan Cities
Moroccan cities have rich cultural heritages. For example, Casablanca had its origins in the 7th Century when Berbers, an indigenous ethnic tribe, made it their capital. The Portuguese invaded what is now Casablanca, then referred to as Anfa, in Morocco in the 15th Century. They renamed it as Casa Branca in 1575. Arabs, later on, rebuilt the city after a massive earthquake and named it Dar Al Beida or the white house. The present-day name is the Spanish translation of the same. At that time, it was the focal point of sea trade between Morocco, and the rest of Europe. Similarly, Fez has an interesting history, as it was a thriving center for a Jewish community in earlier historical times. It was one of the imperial cities of ancient Morocco and a popular commercial center. It is at present a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Tangier, one of the three largest cities of Morocco today, also has had immense economic and cultural importance in the past. It was even a prestigious city within the Roman Empire for more than 200 years.
Growth Trends and Contemporary Economic Environments
Enormous increases in population are among the hallmarks of several Moroccan cities in recent times, including Casablanca, Fez, Tangier, Marrakesh, and Beni Mellal. The populations of all these cities have crossed the one million mark. Of these, Casablanca has become the most populated city with a population of more than 4.2 million! It is also the economic capital of Morocco with a host of industries such as fishing, furniture manufacturing, glass-making, electronics, cigarettes, and more. It also houses the headquarters of most of the business organizations of Morocco. Fez is also attracting a large number of tourists from all over the world. The tourism office is making multiple efforts to improve the existing tourist services, and increasing the bed capacity, which are yielding good results. Tangier is even becoming a place of immense economic importance with new investments in its aerospace industry.
Problems in Morocco's Largest Urban Areas
Traffic congestion, degrading air quality and ground water quality are the main challenges faced by the people of Casablanca. The use of empty land area as dumping grounds has also made the situation worse over the years. Similarly, Fez is facing persistent problem of water pollution and scorpion bites, while the city of Tangier is facing the pressing problem of overpopulation because of a continuous surge of people flocking to the city over the years. Fez is also facing a problem of inadequate bed capacity for tourists, which is gradually improving.
Biggest Cities In Morocco
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