Wessal Capital to invest $2.4bn in Moroccan tourism infrastructure

13 May 2014 (Last Updated May 13th, 2014 18:30)

A joint venture created by Morocco and four Gulf States of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE will invest AED9bn ($2.4bn) to develop a tourism industry in the Moroccan capital of Rabat.

Wessal Capital joint venture created by Morocco and four Gulf States of Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the UAE, will invest AED9bn ($2.4bn) to develop a tourism industry in the Moroccan capital of Rabat.

The development will receive funding from Qatar fund Qatar Holding, the Kuwait Investment Authority's Al Ajial Investments, Abu Dhabi's sovereign wealth fund Aabar, Saudi Investment Fund and the Moroccan Fund for Tourism Development (FMDT).

The project is designed to attract tourists through the creation of hotels, a marina, residential housing, urban green spaces, a museum of archaeology and earth sciences, and an 110ha grand theatre in Rabat, with special focus on ecological components.

It is expected to create more than 12,000 direct and indirect jobs in the region.

"Rabat is starting to become a great cultural destination." 

This is the second investment after an initial AED6bn ($1.6bn) in a project that involved building hotels, a cruising port, marina and renovating the old medina in the port of Casablanca.

Both Rabat projects are being implemented as part of the second phase of the Bouregreg valley development, which was initiated by Morocco in 2006.

Moroccan tourism minister Lahcen Haddad was quoted by Reuters as saying that Rabat is starting to become a great cultural destination, which is why they are planning theatres and museums.

According to the minister, the government is planning to invest a further AED9bn to renovate the urban areas of the city.

The decision is aimed at boosting the tourism industry, which accounts for between 8% and 9% of the gross domestic product, and fell marginally from AED57.83bn ($15.74bn) in 2012 to AED57.55bn ($15.66bn) in 2013.